The Danger of Wandering Eyes

“Look, Mom, there’s a deer!”

“Look, Mom, there’s a wreck.  I wonder what happened?”

“Mom, we just passed so and so.”

As I drive, my kiddos commonly share with me what’s going on in the world around us.  They want me to join in the sightseeing.  Unfortunately, I can’t.  I am one of those people who drives where she looks.  So if I look at the wreck, then I begin to head straight toward it.

I drive wherever my eyes are looking- even if just for a few seconds. I can’t hold the car straight on the road unless I am looking at the road.

Where my eyes go, I go.

lamp MMH365

While that may seem obvious to you, it’s not always been to me. I think I can look at the deer and not veer.  I think I can “window shop” and not buy. I think I can go to the buffet and only eat small portions.  I think I can watch movies or TV dramas and dismiss anything “questionable.”

After all, I saw it. I may have even desired it. But, that’s where it ended.  Right?

Maybe.  You can probably (as I have) successfully engaged willpower once or twice.  You didn’t eat, buy, or have wandering thoughts.  But, ultimately what you seek, you’ll find.

Where your eyes go, you will go.

In Genesis 3: 1-6, notice Eve’s progression to sin:

The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied.“It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’” “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman.“God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. (NLT)

Eve SAW that the tree was beautiful.  She DESIRED the wisdom it would give her. So she TOOK some of the fruit and ATE it.  Then, she GAVE it to Adam and he ate too. **

We see, desire, take, sin, and give the sin away/influence others.

It all begins with our eyes.

I never understood the full reality of this principle until my friend and I began studying the Sermon on the Mount.  Last week we studied Matthew 6: 22-24:

The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24 No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (ESV)

Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have! 24 “You can’t worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can’t worship God and Money both. (The Message)

Our eyes are the windows to our body.  Do we seek light?  Or darkness?  I encourage you to reflect on all the places your eyes focus in a day.  Your computer, your phone, the television (shows and commercials), the movie screen, the mall window, books, your home, your office, the faces of others, and more.

What’s on your computer and smart phone?  Facebook?  Where are you looking?  What are you reading on those devices or in books?  Are you feeding light – goodness and godliness – into your body or darkness?

What viewing choices might be tempting you?  Is the Pizza Hut commercial tempting you to eat when you’re not hungry?  Is the mall window tempting you to buy something you don’t need or can’t afford?  Is the affair on Scandal helping you justify your affair?  Is your home filled with reminders of Him?  When you look into the faces of others, how’s your heart?  Do you see an image bearer of Christ or something else?

We could go on and on.  And, I pray you do.  I pray you brainstorm a list of all the places you “look” in a day.  I promise it will be eye-opening (pun intended;) and heart-enlightening.   After all, as verse 24 says, we can’t serve two masters.  We’re either serving and looking to Him or something else.

“Seek Him” has another meaning for me now.  I not only want to seek him with my heart, but also seek Him (literally) with my eyes. I am now aware of the sinful path my eyes can set me on. I realize I can’t avoid all sinful things in this world or guard my eyes 24/7, but I can gird up my heart with scripture and prayer for those moments when I’m caught unaware. (Sometimes those Taco Bell commercials creep up on me!)

If you’re interested in studying more about “the eyes” in the Bible, read these passages:

  • Job 31 –  Job made a covenant with his eyes.
  • Joshua 7:19-25 – Achan sees the spoils – the cloak, silver, and gold.  Then, he covets and takes.
  • Samuel 11 – David sees Bathsheba, desires her, sends for her, and…perhaps you should read this one on your own 😉

**Thanks to Jen Wilkin for this illustration.

Comments

  1. robin claire says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Just wanted you to know that I really got something from this post. I will be watching what I watch. And I want to be watching Jesus – 100%!!
    robin claire

    • So glad, Robin. I often write about what I struggle with most. And this is definitely a struggle for me. It’s encouraging to know it helped another:)

  2. Enjoyed reading your post!

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