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The Eye 30th January, 2008

Posted by Scotty in Heart, Spirituality.
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manlooking.jpgA couple of weeks ago at church the sermon was on a very familiar passage:

The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. (Matt 6:22)

I had never fully thought through the implications of this passage until they were laid out that Sunday. I have always thought of this passage in two ways. Firstly, instruction to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus; and secondly, that using your eyes in lust is bad. Both of these are true statements. But the implications of this are far bigger.

Have you ever thought of how much affect your eyes have on your actions? With lust, you look at a person’s body filling your mind with an image (or series of images) that draw your focus off of God and onto your fleshly desires. Would guys struggle so much in this area if they were consciously keeping their eyes away from images that would arouse those lustful thoughts?

Jealousy is caused by the eyes. We are happy with what we have until we see what someone else has. When you buy your first used car you are delighted with it until you see the brand new car that your friend got. You are happy with your computer until you see the new one someone else has. Jealousy is stirred up as we look at something else and allow ourselves to “lust” after it.

Have you ever asked yourself why so many people are in debt? Have you ever bought something you couldn’t afford for no reason at all, or was it… because you saw it and wanted it? We walk into shops and look at all the things on the shelf and want them. How many times have I heard someone say “I couldn’t resist buying this when I saw it on the shelf”. We allow ourselves to absorb the promotions and adverts around us not thinking about how those images stir up a desire to have the things we see.

Why do affairs happen? It’s because a man sees a another woman and views her in some degree to be more appealing that his wife. If he had controlled what he allowed his eyes to settle on, would he have stumbled in this way?

Think even of incidents where kids watch a crazy stunt on tv and then get injured imitating it. They see something they think is cool, and then they try to copy it.

Psychologists have studied vision for years. There are charts that describe the psychology of colours and how certain colours we see create certain emotions and environments. Marketers will put things in strategic places in a supermarket because they know it will entice you to enter the shop or to buy the product. Why do they put huge FOR SALE signs up? Because they know that if we see them, we’ll be drawn to them.

Now obviously without living life with our eyes shut we will always be exposed to images that don’t help our relationship to Christ. The question then becomes: are you allowing your attention to linger on that image.

So much of the power of this verse is lost in our immediate application of the verse to sexual immorality. If you don’t allow your mind to swell on impure thoughts, you will avoid tripping up sexually, but it’s so much more than that. If we don’t allow our mind to dwell on the new bigger better gadget, then we won’t be led to buy it. How much of your debt would be gone if you hadn’t spent time dwelling on the image left in your mind after what you saw?

There are positive things we can fix our eyes on. We are called as Christians to “fix our eyes on Jesus”. If you fix your mind on the image of Christ so much of what we do wrong is prevented. Christ’s light is so bright that it makes the most attractive thing in the world dim in comparison. Imagine some of the things that you do wrong, would they be done if your eyes were fixed on Christ’s glory? If you truly fixed your eyes on the glory of Christ would anything else be appealing?

We need to guard our eyes. It is our duty to fix our eyes on the Saviour so that our whole bodies are not only full of light, but that they also radiate the light of Christ to those around us. Where are your eyes fixed?

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