(Photo by Lindsay O’Neil)
By Zelda Dominguez
“Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.”
– Psalm 119:37 (NLT)
Have you ever heard the expression, like a kid in a candy shop? It reminds me of the movie, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The movie is about five children who find a golden ticket winning a chance to tour the factory. Willy Wonka, the owner, guides them through his factory. It turns out to be a morality test by Wonka, to test the loyalty of the next heir of his business. Each child upon entering was overcome by what they saw. Even though they agreed to the stated rules, the temptation was too great. At just the mere glance it seemed to control them with an attitude of “I want it now!” The sight of the edible delights overtook them even to their detriment.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light, but when it is bad your body is full of darkness,” (Luke 11:32). This emphasizes living a life focused on God—seeking God rather than human approval—and seeking spiritual rather than material. In the Bible, Jesus gave sight to the blind and still does today, spiritually speaking to all who desire.
We live in a “vanity fair,” with a vain and frivolous lifestyle. Our world can be characterized by displaying a preoccupation with idle pleasures or ostentation. With that said, there’s a lure with what we see. What I see in advertisements, what I see driving, what I see her wearing, where I see you going.
I use to get on my kids’ case all the time because they were always with their cell phones in their hand. Until I became just like them. First I was going to check my social media once a day, then it gradually got more frequent. We get trapped in the feeling like we are going to miss something. Scrolling, watching videos, Snapchats, reading comments, tweets, posting, playing games, all becomes addicting. Peering into people’s pictures, even strangers, becomes the norm.
What about the inappropriate Instagram pictures? Glancing at the guy with his shirt off working out, or the girl barely in anything. Do you follow them or comment, in hopes to make a connection? Then let’s take it further, have you set your eyes into a porn website or sexting? We don’t have to be overtaken by it. “God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure,” (1 Corinthian10:13). Remember sin has consequences.
Our society is saturated with sex. From commercials, TV programs, soap operas, movies, billboards, concerts, fashion, and the list goes on. It’s shocking what was considered R-rated several years back is considered PG-13 today. What is R-rated now, use to be X-rated. Do you heed movie ratings?
Have you ever gotten hooked on a TV series or soaps? What about Netflix and catching up on whole seasons? I’ve done it. I kept saying, “one more episode,” and before you knew it, it’s 3:30 a.m.! It’s subtle but you start to watch and it captures and steals your time. I have married friends tell me what TV show they like to watch because of the hot guy!
The Bible speaks of three temptations to sin that every human will experience. The same ones Eve was tempted with and the enemy still uses on us today. “For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father but from the world,” (1 John 2:16). The lust of the eyes is the temptation to look upon things we shouldn’t, or to have things that we shouldn’t have. In other words, it is to cast our eyes upon something with desire or pleasure, even though God has told us not to look upon those things.
Am I saying we should live in a cave? No. Is all social media bad? No. Marked Ministry is on social media and that’s how you access us. Do you remember a kid’s song that said, “Be careful little eyes what you see?” We need to guard ourselves with what we watch .We must use balance and wisdom and ask ourselves, how is this helping me in my relationship with Jesus? The Bible says, “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.
As believers we are called to walk by faith and not by sight. To follow God’s plan regardless what life throws your way. I challenged myself and had to confess some of the above things I was doing and repent. We may say what’s the big deal? I really pray you are encouraged to examine what you are setting your eyes on. Ask Jesus to open your eyes.