Lonely for Attention?
Might that be why you compulsively text at every lonely moment? Even when you have nothing to say?
Or why you flirt? With every single member of the opposite sex?
Why you tweet your every random thought? And then pray for retweets?
Could an attention addiction drive you to dress immodestly? Make a fool of yourself? Or cause trouble?
Or why you just uploaded yet another selfie this morning? And just checked again to see how many likes you have?
Did any of those questions strike close to su casa?
You’re not alone.
At least I can relate.
And from the looks of proliferating social media feeds and packed single clubs many others can relate.
But there’s good news in God’s word for those who struggle like I did with RADD (Relational Attention Deficit Disorder).
Somebody’s watching your every move and they care about your every choice. (In a good way.)
Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. – Psalm 139:1-3
THE TRUTH: You have the complete and continuous attention of the maker and lover of your soul.
Do we believe that? Truly?
Then we don’t have to surrender to the compulsion to text in any and every spare moment, because the God of the universe can and desires to fill each of those empty spaces with the peace of His presence.
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. – Psalm 139:8-10
When you’re dying to catch the eye of that gorgeous stranger, don’t forget you have the attention of our glorious God who knew you before you were born. And He’s hoping you won’t miss seeing Him. Not because He needs the attention, but because you do.
For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance. – Psalm 139:13-16a
Before you tweet your next random thought to see if anyone can relate, pick up the Bible and marvel at how its timeless truth brings clarity to whatever you’re going through. After all, it was written by the God who knows your every thought before you tweet.
Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, You know it all. – Psalm 139:4
And there’s no need to stoop to immodesty, foolishness or rebellion just to be seen.
You have a Savior who not only sees you, He sees your sin – all of it – and loves you anyway.
Indeed he stooped to the humiliation of the cross to save you. If His attention doesn’t fill your life with meaning, who’s ever could?
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. – Psalm 139:23-24
So, the next time you’re tempted to fix your hair and take another selfie, take a moment to fix your thoughts on the God who knows the number of hairs on your head (without counting).
You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. – Psalm 139:5-6
He’s thinking about you all the time!
Not metaphorically. LITERALLY!
God’s attention, like all his attributes, is perfect, infinite and unchanging. This means that, though His attention may not always be what we’d like it to be, it will always be precisely what we need it to be.
It means that, though there are over seven billion people in the world, 1/7,000,000,000th of God’s infinite attention is still an infinite amount of attention. Surely that’s more than enough!
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. – Psalm 139:17-18a
If I feel lonely for attention, maybe it has more to do with the focus of my own attention than that of anyone else. Maybe it’s because I’m failing to fix my eyes on the only person who can fill my deepest needs – not for attention, but for intimacy!
So let us press into Him; to know Him more; to know Him as we are already fully known!
After all, it’s what our hearts long for.
Nobody just wants attention.
[This is post is part of a series called Relation^ology (it begins with this post) where we identify the greatest relational need of our heart and then ID the counterfeits we seek out or settle for instead. Relation^ology started out as a discussion series and can be booked for your college, youth or young adults group (or singles group, life group, cell group, community group or whatever they’re calling Bible study these days).]
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The LoveEd study guide series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE YOU FALL IN LOVE! It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. Check out the first two 8-lesson study guides in our store. You can walk through it on your own, but it’s more fun with friends, so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study. Even better? And ask a married couple you respect to lead it!