What Causes Spiritual Distraction?

We live in a busy world that supplies us with endless distractions from our faith. When we become distracted from our faith, we become separated from God. Think of your faith as a drive. Who wants to be in a car with a distracted driver? All kinds of things can happen. You miss your exits. You run off the road. You take a wrong turn. It's no different in our faith. There are all kinds of spiritual distractions that take us on all kinds of wrong paths and far away from God. Here are some common causes of spiritual distraction:


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We're human, and we tend to be very self-focused. It's easy for us to get lost in our problems and ourselves to a point where we lose sight of God. When we become too focused on ourselves, we are no longer focusing on God. Obviously, God loves us and He wants us to care for ourselves but he designed us for more than just to take care of ourselves. He also wants us to care for one another and to love Him. Next time you're in prayer, remember that some of your time with God needs to be other-focused, and don't let yourself be your own spiritual distraction.

Lust and Love

People like to think that lust and love are just adolescent issues, but they're not. No matter how old or young you are, lust and love are huge spiritual distractions. We often find ourselves thinking of a crush before we think of God. We find ourselves lost in romantic fantasy or distracted by pornography. We can even get lost in our dating partner to where we no longer focus on our faith, and we only focus on the other person. Breakups can also be a huge distraction as we immerse ourselves in sadness. Christians are very marriage focused, and the desire to get married can also be a huge distraction from God and His purpose for our life.


We like to be entertained. Television, movies, books…they all provide an escape from our daily lives. There is nothing that says we cannot provide ourselves a little break from reality by being entertained, but when that entertainment gets in the way of our faith, it becomes a spiritual distraction. We need to prioritize what's most important. Should we go see that movie or go to church? If we're choosing entrainment over God, we have given into our distractions.


Our world is one that promotes having things. Every week there seems to be a new gadget we're all told we need in our lives. It's important that we learn the difference between what we need and what we want. When we keep our perspective on needs versus wants, the things in life become far less distracting from our relationship with God. Things in this life are just here for a short time, but God is eternal, and our eternal life with Him needs to be our priority.

School and Work

We all need to go to school and many people need to work. They are an essential part of our lives, but we also need to be careful not to let them distract us from our faith. Now, faith does not give us an excuse to ditch school or not study. To avoid the distractions that school and work can cause, we must be better at managing our time. We have to make sure we get done what we need to do on time so we can devote the time God needs from us. Some spiritual distractions are just caused by poor time management.


Even serving God can provide a spiritual distraction. Sure, we may be working for Him, but sometimes we lose sight of God in the our desire to be good servants. A good example of this situation is Martha. She became resentful that her sister, Mary, was not helping her in the kitchen when Jesus came to visit. Yet Jesus reminded her that He needed to come first, not the kitchen work. Her heart wasn't in a Godly place. When we're doing God's work, God needs to be the reason behind what we do.

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Mahoney, Kelli. "What Causes Spiritual Distraction?" Learn Religions, Sep. 7, 2021, learnreligions.com/what-causes-spiritual-distraction-712617. Mahoney, Kelli. (2021, September 7). What Causes Spiritual Distraction? Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/what-causes-spiritual-distraction-712617 Mahoney, Kelli. "What Causes Spiritual Distraction?" Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/what-causes-spiritual-distraction-712617 (accessed June 1, 2023).