A “Black Dot” Mentality

Esther 5:13 says, “But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.”

You know how sometimes you can see yourself in certain characters in a story? Well, as I was reading through Esther, I saw myself in one of the main characters. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the brave and courageous Esther or Mordecai. This time I saw myself in the villain of the story-Haman!

Haman had a good thing going on. He was the king’s right hand man. He had wealth and a great family. But as the verse above says, he couldn’t enjoy any of those things because of one thing.

Mordecai.

Mordecai would not bow down to Haman and honor him. Mordecai was a thorn in Haman’s side. Haman was all about Haman. He was prideful and greedy. He wasn’t content with what he had because he was so focused on the one thing he couldn’t have—Mordecai’s honor. So he schemed to destroy the Jews because of his bitterness toward Mordecai.

Sadly, I can relate to Haman. I have so many wonderful blessings that God has given to me. My family, home, job, wonderful friendships, a great church, health, and the list goes on and on.  But so often I look at the few things I don’t have and get discontented. I allow that one thing, or circumstance, or person to consume my mind and grip my heart. Then I totally miss the incredible blessings all around me.

It’s like the whiteboard analogy. Imagine a whiteboard with one tiny black dot in the middle. What would you see if you looked at the whiteboard? Would you see a black dot or the big white clean board all around it?

See, Satan loves to get us to focus in on that one black dot so we miss everything else that’s good in our lives. Like Haman, it all boils down to our pride and discontentment.

The best way to be set free from this “black dot” mentality is to refocus our attention. Rick Warren says, “Whatever gets your attention, gets you.” I have found that to be so true in my life. So how can we refocus our attention?

First, focus on what you already have. What you’ve been given. Cultivate a thankful heart. Don’t miss the treasures you have because you are so focused on the “so-called” treasures you don’t have. A friend shared with me a while back that we think the grass is greener on the other side, but it might not even be grass, it might be astroturf.

One of the best ways I have found to get out of a selfish unhappy mental state is to take the focus off of myself and turn my focus back to God and others. Focus on developing a desire to please Him. Find ways to invest in relationships and encourage others.

Haman thought what he wanted Mordecai’s honor, but Haman had it all wrong. Mordecai didn’t need to bow his knees to honor Haman. Haman needed to bow his knees to honor God. Haman saw the black dot but missed the whole point. It wasn’t about what Haman wanted, it was about what God wanted. And God wanted Haman’s honor. The one who needed to do the bending, wasn’t Mordecai. It was Haman.

The path to greatness isn’t in how high we stand, it’s in how low we bend. Greatness is found in humility.

Proverbs 22:4 says, “True humility and fear of the LORD lead to riches, honor, and long life.”

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