ACTS International
Home Page of ACTS International
Home Page of ACTS InternationalHow to Find and Know God without having to be religiousLife Help Articles dealing with faith, family, and practical helps for purposeful livingDaily and Weekend Encounters with more than a third-of-a-million worldwide subscribersSupport the Work of ACTS International a not-for-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible for U.S. donorsCurrent report on the ministries and services of ACTS InternationalOnline Store of ACTS ... ACTS CommunicationsAbout ACTS International
ACTS International Home Page Click here for the current issue of  Daily Encounter
         
     
   
Tell a Friend Site Map Share and/or Bookmark
   
         
   
Articles > Recovery: > Selective Attention

Selective Attention

"Aware of their [the disciples] discussion, Jesus asked them: 'Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don't you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?' 'Twelve,' they replied'"1

"Have you ever seen a baseball player argue with an umpire's decision in an important situation even when it was obvious to everyone else that the call was correct? The player wants the call to go the other way so badly that he might actually have perceived it differently from that of the umpire. I remember one case where a player even swore to his teammates that a called third strike was a ball. Later, when he was shown a videotape of the pitch, which was right down the middle, he couldn't believe it. He wanted it to be a ball so badly that he had actually perceived it to be a ball."

One's mind is like his eye. The moment a foreign object threatens to intrude, the eye closes. So does the mind. It will close to anything that threatens a person's self-esteem, his personal life-style, his strongly held attitudes, values, and beliefs, and to anything that is not relevant to his felt or perceived needs and wants.

As communicators remind us, all of us have selective exposure, selective attention, selective comprehension or perception, selective distortion, and selective retention.

Selective exposure shows that people are only open to messages they want to receive.

Selective attention shows that people hear only what they want to hear.

Selective comprehension or perception shows that people will perceive things the way they want to see them.

Selective distortion shows how people change messages to match their self-concept or twist them to match their misguided perception of reality.

Selective retention shows that people remember only what they want to remember.*

Everything else is filtered or blocked out. We are all capable of doing this. The fact is we see things not the way they are, but the way we are. However, the answer for seeing reality; that is, seeing the truth as it really is, is by our being ruthlessly honest with ourselves. The more dishonest I am with my inner self, the more I will distort all truth to make it match my distorted perception of reality and twist it to say what I want it to say. But the more honest I am with my inner self, the more I will see all truth—including God's truth—the way it really is, and not as I may want it to appear. As Jesus reminds us, it's the truth that liberates us.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please make me to be a man/woman of truth. Help me to be honest with myself and with You so that I will see all truth the way it is, and see things the way they are and not twist them to say what I want them to say. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Mark 8:17-19 (NIV).

*NOTE: Today's Daily Encounter is adapted from I Hate Witnessing—A Handbook for Effective Christian Communications, by Dick Innes. See pages 136 following (2010 edition). Available at: www.actscom.com/store.

<:))))><


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.



   
    Back to Return to previous page Previous Page    
         
       
   
Site Map   Top
   
     
         
Find Peace With God footer
 
  ARTICLES
About God
About Faith
Relationships
Success/Failure
Solutions
Recovery
Ask the Teacher
Better Living Tips
Friendship
Words of Love
Words of Inspiration
People Power for Jesus
Simple and Effective Witnessing for Christ

SITE TRANSLATIONS
Spanish Espanol
French Francois

  DEVOTIONS
Devotionals
Daily Encounter
Weekend Encounter
Encuentros Diarios
Archives
Subscribe
When God Is Silent
Prayer Partners
  Needed

Special Needs

BIBLE HELPS
Helps and Studies
Today's Reading
Annual Reading

  QUOTES AND TESTS
Today's Quotes
Happiness Test
Stress Test

ACTS IN ACTION

ACTS Websites
ACTS in Action Report

COMMUNICATIONS

Syndicate ACTS Articles
"I Hate Witnessing"
   Audio—No Charge

Opening Closed Minds
Effective Communications
Jesus, the Communicator
Punching Holes in
   the Darkness

  REPORTS
About ACTS
Be an ACTS Friend

MISC.
People Power Invite
Links
Weather
Privacy Policy
Snail-Mail List
Contact Us/Feedback

ACTS BOOKSTORE
Online Bookstore


Site Map
Report problems to ACTS International
All pages in this site © Copyright 2005-2017 by ACTS International
P.O. Box 73545, San Clemente, CA 92673 U.S.A.
 
HOME   Daily Encounter  Find Peace With God