Windows into your soul

Marcus Tullius Cicero is credited to the old English proverb, “Eyes are the window to the soul.” Although no one can be certain that it originated with this Roman Philosopher, we also see this principle in the Bible. Matthew 6:22-23 states, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 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!” 

We know that all Scripture is breathed out by God and good for teaching and training in righteousness; I say this because the aforementioned passage in Matthew is not to just be skimmed over lightly. God is clearly speaking through Matthew and sharing with us two things. First he is saying that if we wanna be filled with light, then we must monitor what our eyes are feasting on. Second, he is warning us that if we are not cautious and conscientious of what we are permitting our eyes to be fixed on, then we will be filled with darkness. Matthew 5:28 says that by looking at someone alone you are capable of committing adultery. Psalm 101:3 says that “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless, I hate the work of those who fall; it shall not cling to me.” So this passage starts off speaking to not setting worthless things before your eyes and ends with saying that those that do, fall away. There is a Biblical pattern of reckless looking, leading to reckless living, and then eventually a path that only leads to death. 

So I bring this up because I am a walking testimony to the power of a guarded eye vs an unguarded one. I used to not pay attention to what I watched and I also had a lot of foolish thoughts and talk. Proverbs 27:20 says “… the eyes are never satisfied.” If our eyes go unrestrained so will our appetite for greed, lust, gluttony and other behaviors that does not bring glory to God.

I encourage you Brothers and Sisters to guard what comes into your eyes with ferocity! Proverbs 23:26 says, “My son, give me you heart and let your eyes delight in my way.” Ask God to help you honor him with your eyes and witness the positive correlation between your talk and your thoughts. It is incredible the difference that it makes in your everyday life. I can honestly say from the past 3 years of me intentionally guarding my eyes, the tremendous amount of light that has pushed out the darkness that used to be there, from my humor to the motives in my heart when I am talking, doing, or thinking about something. “Test me in this and see if the Lord God Almighty” will not enlighten the eyes of your heart to see more clearly and a renewed mind that thinks more succinctly (Malachi 3:10).

Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law. Understand that by keeping a personal law of guarding your eyes, will give birth to light shining in every place you walk into. In light there is joy, peace, revelation, and no confusion.

 

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  1. Dave R says:

    The idea of guarding what comes into our eyes has important implications for business leaders. If business leaders fail to guard what comes into their eyes, they may become distracted by goals or objectives that conflict with their duty to the organization, and its stakeholders. The leaders of an organization, both owners and officers, need to guard their vision so that what comes into their eyes does not pollute the Vision of the organization.

    In a previous job, I experienced something like this–albeit to a lesser degree than leading an organization. I was working in a service role, to the employees of the organization. Over time, I took on additional projects to help ease the burden of other members in my department. However, there came a time when I felt frustrated at the reoccuring needs of employees–whom I was there to serve–because they hindered progress on these other projects. While it is true that the additional projects I took on were intended to provide additional support to the employees, I was allowing secondary projects to negatively impact my primary role: serving the employees. I allowed the vision of “loftier” projects to distract me from my primary objective.

    I believe we have seen this idea extrapolated to entire organizations when leaders allowed personal goals of wealth to cloud their duty to the organization. Enron is a prime example of this: the ‘goal’ of the leaders to amass greater wealth, for themselves, led to them sacrificing the well-being of the entire company. The result of this compromise led to dire consequences, both for the leaders, and for the stakeholders of the organization.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Sight definitely has an effect on our motivations. If we see food, we desire to eat. If our neighbors have nice things, we are tempted to also try to acquire nice things. If we see beauty or sex, we may be tempted in this way. If we keep our eyes fixed on the word of God and away from the things of the world, we will be stronger and reduce the quantity of temptation we face.

    In my own life, I have struggled to maintain a healthy diet. I have learned that it helps to not keep junk food around the house. If I see the food, I am tempted. If it is not around, I am rarely tempted.

    Marketing will often use visual cues to tempt the audience. Lust and desire are created so that the audience thinks that they must buy the product. As Leaders, we must be careful to ensure that our advertisements are not leading people astray.

    When talking about lust that can be awakened by sight, Jesus said “If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell,” (Matthew 5:29 ESV). If we are tempted when we see something, we should flee from it, turn off the TV, close the book or avoid the location. If we are comfortable with temptation, then we will soon become comfortable with sin. Little sins and lies can compound into a large ugly mess that can damage the leader’s integrity and potentially the organization.

  3. mbr4355 says:

    All Concerned,

    You bring up very good points as to the importance of guarding our eyes from things that pollute the soul. With the meaning of these Bible verses being beyond literal meanings in my mind, I will assert not only that eyes are an allusion to one’s focus, but that there are other means of focus, as well.

    Stephanie brings up the point that seeing objects can make you yearn for them. Although I agree on a basic level, I would also argue that it is when we focus on said object, or put it on a pedestal so-to-speak, that is when it becomes a real issue. I see food all the time that I would like to eat. However, because I have the ability to say ‘no,’ I do not consider myself a glutton in that regard.

    To me, the eyes that are never satisfied are akin to those people who are experiencing addiction– they cannot say ‘no’ to drugs, alcohol, or pornography.

    After all, there are certain thoughts that I would argue people cannot control. For example, I have had dreams about being kissed by someone other than my husband, but I would not say that was a desire of my heart. Now if in consciousness I obsessed over finding this mystery love, and forsook my husband’s love, then I would argue that my eyes have shifted focus and committed adultery in my heart.

    I think Dave describes my understanding of the topic well when he discusses how business leaders can become distracted by goals or objectives that arise, which removes the eyes of focus from the bigger picture.

    Though humans may be weak and susceptible to temptation, He has gifted us with the power of free will. We have the choice not to eat everything that is put on our plate. We have the choice to walk away from bad situations and people. This in and of itself is a blessing, because we will never truly be able to protect our eyes from encountering the evils of this world.

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