Will someone cut down the trees so that I can better see the forest?

You’ve heard the statement, “Can’t see the forest for the trees.” I don’t know who came up with that statement, but I feel like that a lot. I often feel like I’m so focused on the details right in front of my nose that I can’t see the big picture.

I’ve noticed when I start getting too busy, I start to lose perspective on what’s happening around me. In other words, I want to cut down the trees that are right in front of my face so I can see the forest better.  It can become dangerous to be so focused on what’s happening in front of you that you miss what’s happening around you.   Here are a few dangers to be on the lookout for:

Don’t forget your salvation

If Jesus has saved you from your sin, do you still feel as passionate for him today as you once did? Is your heart still as tender for him today as it was the moment you came to faith in him?   If it has been a long time since you came to know Jesus personally as your Savior, have you lost some of your passion for him?

The further people move away from the date of their salvation, the more dangerous the temptation is to lose the joy of their salvation. Don’t let that happen to you. The longer you’ve known Jesus, the easier it is to lose your zeal for him.  Fight that temptation. Don’t ever let go of that thing that drove you to Jesus in the first place (John 16:22). It will keep your heart close to him.

Don’t get hard-hearted

People are messy, so developing relationships with people will inevitably bring problems.  Your life would be a lot easier if you never had to deal with “people problems.”  That lifestyle would also be miserable and lonely!

So one of the cautions is to not get so frustrated with “people problems” that you develop a hard heart. People are messy; if we are going to love people well, we have to be willing to get messy with them.   If our mission is to tell other people about Jesus, messy people can throw us off course if we’re not careful. Guard your heart. Don’t become hard-hearted (Mark 16:14).

Don’t miss your mission in life

Every challenge brings with it obstacles and opportunities. Are you the kind of person that can only see the obstacles and can’t see the opportunities?  Are you the kind of person who sees the opportunities but fails to seize the opportunities?   Don’t miss the opportunities because you’re so focused on the obstacles.

Sometimes you can get so focused on the details of obstacles in front of you that you miss the greater idea of what you’re trying to accomplish in the first place. This is when you know you missed the forest because you’re too focused on the trees. Maybe it’s time for you to take a step back. It’s time to stop and smell the roses.   It’s time to keep the big picture in mind.  It’s time to remember that God created me to bring him glory and to love others well.

Further reading