09-19-13 © ArtemSam, courtesy of iStockphoto

My daughter had what the family called a blond moment. She had recently dyed her hair a lighter shade – somewhere between vanilla and gypsum – when she said it. We knew it wasn’t really the hair color that made her proclaim something she wished she hadn’t, but we enjoyed teasing her all the same.

  • My daughter professed that her classmate had ADD.

We knew the friend well, but the revelation was new to us. We were very familiar with this diagnosis since physicians had treated several family members for the disorder.

  • It’s not that her disclosure shocked us.

It’s become chic to say one has ADD. Many parents and school officials push the pediatricians to get medications to improve the kids’ performances and behavior in school; according to experts, too many.

  • But that’s not what surprised us.

What astonished us was what our daughter thought Attention Deficit Disorder was. She misunderstood the condition.

She believed it’s what young people had when they sought to be at the center of attention. In her mind, teenagers doing things to gain popularity lacked for attention, and thus had ADD because they wanted their peers to “like” them the most.

  • If that were true, it’s a malady more common than we admit.

 

Supreme and abiding self-love is a very dwarfish affection, but a giant evil…

We erect the idol self, and not only wish others to worship, but worship it ourselves.

~ Richard Cecil

 

This eighteenth-century philosopher spoke of his observation of human nature. What was true in past generations is on full display today. Whereas such attitudes were limited to local affairs before, modern self-love is broadcast all over social media for the world to see today.

  • Even in Christian circles, it’s prominent.

How many congregations have in-fighting, cliques, and self-centered promotions?

How many of those conflicts occur because certain people are complaining because they have attention-deficit?

How many result because the pastors aren’t seeking their advice on matters?

  • They want their agenda “liked.”

Not only do they think their ways are best, but theirs is the only way they’ll accept. They gauge ministry success based on whether they’re at the center of the decision-making.

  • Just like many, they’re in denial about the real problem.

It’s always someone else’s fault. We hear it when they talk about it being my church. My Sunday school class. This is what I think so-and-so should do.

Maybe that’s the type of attention deficit my daughter was thinking about. For certain, it leads to division and disorder in the work God’s called us to do.

  • Scripture is clear who deserves the attention.

Jesus proclaimed about Peter’s confession that He is Lord:

 

And I also say to you that … on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it.

 ~ Matthew 16:18, HCSB (emphasis mine)

Instead of seeking favor here on earth, we should focus our attention on the One who deserves our worship instead.

Are we taking attention away from the Lord by focusing on our deficits or the deficiencies of others?