Focus on God - "Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you." Verse 2.
Step one: Listen to better music.
Step two: Look for Him.
Step three: Be a Tiger Christian
So, I haven't read this. But it's all over the news, and several articles have surfaced since it's release. As a teacher, I think about our future a lot. I wonder what will become of us once the kids I teach are running the place. I watch different parenting methods and consider new education trends. I find the Tiger Mother's philosophy fascinating, and if I'm honest, I think there's something to it. Now, let me be clear. I'm not suggesting we all start telling children they are trash. But, I do kind of agree with instilling a sense of work ethic in kids. How can that not lead to success?
January's goal is to focus on God. How can I do that if I give excuses for everything I do? Step three for this goal is to be a Tiger Christian. I am seeking out a relationship with my maker, my master-- how dare I slack off? No one ever said being a Christian would be easy. It takes time, dedication, and sacrifice. It concerns me that I spend more time checking Facebook than I do thinking about God. It's also possible that I have a better relationship with my iphone than with God. We could blame it on our generation, technology, "being normal" etc. Why is it so easy to come up with labels and excuses for our behaviors? Sometimes I feel like we try to cancel out our behavior if we can give a reason why it happened. Then maybe we aren't all that responsible for it.
Instead, I am seeking the philosophy of a Tiger Christian: that I will seriously attend to my Lord, I will avoid excuses for my behavior, and I will actively seek him out. Romans 12:2 calls me to not become so a part of my culture that I become distracted. I should focus on God. Surely I love God more than my iphone...
Amy Chua talks now about how not everything in her memoir is meant to be used as a manual. She made mistakes. So, when I say step 3 is to be a Tiger Christian, I am talking about focus, no excuses, and love. She sees this philosophy as one done to provide more for children, showing them love through expectations and boundaries. She says in an interview with Time Magazine that she was raised by a Tiger Father who limited her choices when she was young, which led to infinite choices as an adult.
I can't help but think of God here. Earth is limited, but heaven is a soaring, out of the box, question mark-- which holds no boundaries.