by Brandy Webb
Tunnel vision is defined by Merriam-Webster as “Constriction of the visual field resulting in loss of peripheral vision.” Google’s informal definition is “the tendency to focus exclusively on a single or limited goal or point of view.”
Here lately, I have been suffering from a bad case of “tunnel vision” in a negative way. I have been only focusing on things that are overwhelming and stressful that I am facing right now. Key thing, I am focusing on “my problems,” which in turn takes my focus off of God and others who are around me. Thus, this tunnel vision is causing me to not follow the two great commandments of loving God with all my heart and soul and loving my neighbor because I am too focused on myself. Am I the only one that has a tendency to suffer from negative “tunnel vision?”
Negative tunnel vision happens when we lose sight of the bigger picture. It is when we get so focused on goals not reached, trials of this life, cares of this world, bitterness, disappointments, worries, and anything else that distracts us from our walk in and with Christ. When this happens we overlook the many blessings around us. We overlook the love others have for us. We overlook the Power that our Father God and Jesus have to help us overcome the obstacles we are facing.
When we focus on our problems rather than the One who can get us through them, we are neglecting what we are told many times in the Bible, “Do not be afraid.” We are to “be strong and courageous.” We are to not fear and not to become discouraged because we know that our God is with us wherever we go, and He can help us face anything if we turn our focus on Him (Joshua 1:9).
Negative tunnel vision keeps the focus on ourselves rather than God. This in turn is placing ourselves where God is supposed to be, so in a way we become our own idols. We are to not have any other “gods/distractions” before our Creator (Exodus 20:3). Anything that becomes our most important thing to meditate on and rehash that isn’t God Himself is getting put above Him in importance. It is a hard truth that I am learning that I need to overcome.
Negative tunnel vision also keeps us from serving others. We become service paralyzed when we become so absorbed in our own problems. The truth is, when we walk out in faith, keep living, keep walking in the path of righteousness, serve God, serve others, etc., despite the trials and struggles we are facing, we are witnessing the real power of God in our lives. We are showing the world that, yes, it is possible to not wallow in self-pity. Yes, it is possible to have hope in the middle of despair. Yes, it is possible to still have faith even when we do not know where God is leading us because we know and believe that the struggles of this life will not compare to the glory of God’s Kingdom to come (Romans 8:18).
The truth is that Satan wants us to have negative tunnel vision. He wants us to focus on all our faults, problems, failures, and fears because a discontent heart will start to doubt instead of having faith. A negative heart will give in to despair instead of being joyful. It will become fearful instead of fearless. It will be cast down instead of praising God with raised hands. We can’t let Satan win. We have the Creator on our side, and He is much stronger and more powerful than anything.
Thus we need positive tunnel vision. Oh yes, there is a positive type. This type of tunnel vision’s center of focus is God the Father and Jesus Christ our Savior. This vision seeks “first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” because we know that God alone can provide everything we need (Matthew 6:33). This vision doesn’t allow “the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things [to] come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful” (Mark 4:19). No, positive tunnel vision’s single focus is on God, which in turn helps us to face anything that this life throws at us. So, my hope and prayer are for my “tunnel vision” to change its point of focus because our God is bigger and more important than anything I am facing.