Summary: What we see with our eyes affects us spiritually.
THE EYES HAVE IT
INTRODUCTION: The eyes, they’re a wonderful instrument aren’t they? They’re a complex mechanism of combined parts that all work together to allow us to be able to see the world around us. This can be both a blessing and a curse. There is much beauty to see in this world but along with that there is ugliness. We like some of what we see but there are some things we wished we didn’t see. We enjoy seeing beautiful art, entertaining shows and breathtaking scenery with majestic mountains. But what we don’t like seeing are disasters, destruction and abuse. And there is spiritual eyesight as well as physical eyesight. There are things that we should see and there are things we shouldn’t see. And we need to realize that what we allow our eyes to see affects us spiritually. Let’s take a look into this and get a better understanding of the importance of what our eyes behold.
1) Sins of the eyes. We can have physical problems with our eyes. You can have lazy eye, crossed-eyes, poor vision, astigmatism etc. We also can have spiritual problems with our eyes. What are some of the sins of the eyes?
A) Coveting. The 10th commandment, found in Ex. 20:17, says, ‘do not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor’. To covet means, ‘to desire enviously’ or, ‘to crave’. Right from the beginning we see this problem of the eyes. In Gen 3, Eve was being tempted by the serpent to covet, to enviously desire what wasn’t rightfully hers to take. Gen. 3:6. Because Adam and Eve gave in to their covetous desires, there were massive consequences. Mankind’s first sin came by way of a covetous desire. James 4:1-3. If God hasn’t given us something, there’s a reason for it. It’s wrong to enviously desire something. Coveting is a sin of the eyes.
B) Lust. 1st John 2:15&16. Lust is described as having an, ‘intense, excessive and unrestrained desire’. Prov. 27:20 says that the eyes of man are never satisfied. We go searching for eye candy and we have a continual lust for more that is never satisfied. We allow our eyes to see things it shouldn’t to pacify our sinful cravings. Lust is a sin of the eyes.
C) Erroneous Judging. Matt. 7:1-5. We go by what we initially see instead of looking at the big picture. We convince ourselves that what we’re seeing is accurate. We misuse our eyes and see only the faults of others without first looking inward to what we need to see in ourselves. We make incorrect judgments with our eyes. We see someone who looks good on the outside and conclude that he has it all together. And we see someone who is destitute and assume he is a decrepit loser. When we judge using this criteria we are sinning with the eyes.
D) Spiritual Blindness. 2nd Peter 1:3-9. When we don’t possess these qualities, we’re blind to their importance. We’re blind to how effective we will be with them. And we’re blind to the fact that we have been cleansed and therefore, need to be looking at our lives through new eyes. God told Ezekiel in Eze. 12:2, “…you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see…” Through our rebellious ways, we develop spiritual blindness. We fail to recognize the things of the Spirit. Spiritual blindness is a sin of the eyes.
2) What do we need to do? How do we correct our spiritual eyesight problems?
A) We need to understand that God sees. Heb 4:13, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Children’s song lyrics- ‘Oh, be careful little eyes, what you see, For the Father up above, is looking down in love, So be careful little eyes, What you see.’ God sees when others don’t. Knowing that God sees everything done in secret should prompt us, in reverence, to maintain our integrity when no one’s watching. It’s also an encouraging and comforting thing that God sees. This means he is always watching out for his children.
B) Instead of coveting with our eyes, we need to make a covenant with our eyes. Job said in 31:1, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.” Job took seriously the need to refrain from lust. He made a covenant with his eyes. He made a binding agreement. David said in Psalm 101:3, “I will set before my eyes no vile thing.” And the Psalmist asked the Lord in 119:37 to ‘turn his eyes away from worthless things’. We, as well as Job, David and the other Psalmist, need be serious about what we allow our eyes to behold. We need to make a covenant with our eyes.