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Wickedness Before Our Eyes

by Wayne S. Walker

"I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me" (Psalm 101:3).

There is an old warning, "What you see is what you get." We might also say that in a sense, "What you see is what you are."

God made the eyes to see (Proverbs 20:12). Health textbooks in school explain how the light enters the eye through the pupil, is focused by the lens, which projects an image on the retina, from which the image then travels the optic nerve to the brain to be interpreted. Indeed, how fearfully and wonderfully we are made (Psalm 139:14)! No camera can rival the picture taking capacity of the human eye.

However, there is more to seeing than just the physical aspects of how it happens. What we see is important too, because everything that we see is stored in our brains and becomes a part of who we are. Obviously, we cannot control every single sight that comes to our eyes. However, we can control what we choose to continue looking at. As someone once said, you may not be able to stop the birds from lighting on your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair. This is why Jesus taught, "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28).

These kinds of warnings are especially needed in our day and culture. In former times, people with perverted minds had to go out and buy "dirty" magazines and books or visit "adult" theaters to satisfy their lustful longings. However, today, we can pipe it into our homes and offices either with cable television or the Internet. Therefore, we need to heed the words of Jesus. "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:22-23).

Let us resolve that we will set nothing evil before our eyes.