I’ve recently started a new exercise to help myself combat particular sins that I struggle with. If you’re interested in details, feel free to message me. The core of this endeavor involves exhorting myself from reflection and meditation on what the Bible says about purity in all regards.
It’s been a rather tedious study in terms of time but I’ve already gleaned a lot from the small part of Scripture I’ve covered. This has been tremendously helpful for filling my mind with the Word and setting my sights on things above. If I say anything wrong, please correct me because I’m doing this study without any source help – just what I generally know about Scripture. This is particularly dangerous because I’m skewing Scripture a bit to address a certain topic, but I’m doing my best to keep things in context while being reflectional. I wanted to share one of the chief motifs I’ve gleaned from this study concerning the eyes. My hope is that you (especially the dudes) would be challenged as I have been!
P.S. I’m basically talking to myself. I think my conscience inherited this strange internal dialogue from tennis ._.
8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Matthew 5:8 – What is the hope of heaven? Is it in the heavenly mansion? Is it in the streets of gold or seeing those who have gone before? They are all great blessings, but the privilege of faith is that the invisible becomes visible, that you shall see God in all His splendor. The human imagination can scarce entertain such romantic thoughts, to gaze upon Love and to walk with Him for an eternity. Who does Christ say can see God? It is those who are pure in heart that will dwell in the temple of the Lord forever. Remind yourself of the purpose of these reflections. It is not something to be produced and given to others for encouragement, but it is to cut off a sin that clings much too tightly. The goal is purity in all its dimensions. The means is mortification of sin through thoughtful and correct reflection on the Word of God as well as prayer. Do you desire to look upon Beauty and esteem it worthy? Strive to be pure in heart.
27“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’;
28but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29“If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
30“If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.
Matthew 5:27-30 – You must first consider what is more heinous: murder or adultery? Alright, perhaps they are equal in weight in the sense of condemnation, but which one do you think the Lord feels is worse? The language of Scripture betrays the mystery for surely adultery is the more treacherous sin. Survey the Bible and see how often Israel is portrayed as an adulterer and painted as a harlot. Man cannot kill God, but he can choose to love another when that love ought to be reserved for the Lord. Adultery paints a picture that contains a message that is an all-too clear reflection of man’s spiritual condition. God chooses an image of a whore to explain much of the Old Testament. Can you see the disgust of God toward lust? It destroys the vertical and the horizontal. By playing the harlot with worldly desires you commit cosmic treason against your First Love! You betray one to love something that will entertain but for a short while – the deadening of your conscience to sin is certain. Look at how stiff your neck will become! Why is the divine Schoolmaster so strict concerning wandering eyes? Why not stripes instead of mutilation? The Savior wants you to see the gravity of a careless gaze from both the eyes of the flesh and the eyes of the heart. Look at the reaction of the man in Jesus’ illustration. He is quick to identify his sin and is swift to cut it off so he may remain pure. The man’s eyes may be put out but it is the pure in heart that will see the Lord! Blind in one life to gaze upon an unchanging beauty in the next. Is your desire to have your eyes opened to glory or to vanity? That phrase ‘stumble’ carries far more weight than you will understand in this life. To stumble is to sin and to sin is to offend a holy God. One rogue thought should lead a man to repentance. Two rogue thoughts should lead a man to tear out his reality in this life to ensure a Christ-exalting future one. How will you guard yourself from stumbling? Fill your mind heavenly things and spiritual truths. Leave no place for wandering thoughts. How can a young man keep his way pure? Put away your lewd music and the mire of Hollywood, for they invade the thought life by planting destructive images – you know for yourself that one moment can undo weeks of study. Let the Bible light the way for it shines forth the light of heaven. Let God call you out of your sinful darkness and if necessary, your physical darkness for the promise of marvelous light holds true to the pure in heart.
22“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, 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 that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
Matthew 6:22-23 – Notice how the eye imagery occurs again. Blessed be the pure in heart for they will see God. Let the eye be cast away if it causes the body to stumble, for it is better to be blind and abstain from sin so that the soul may be preserved. Here we see that clear eyes not only have eternal motivations but also incentives for the sojourner passing through a fallen world. Let your body be filled with light, as one on a hill that cannot be extinguished. Will you smother your lamp with lust? Will you quench the God-given light with bad eyes, prone to wander thus leading the mind to stumble? Bad eyes result in a great darkness, which has ramifications in this life and the next. In such a pitch black night, will there be hope for you to find your way out? If you find yourself with impure eyes, plead for the mercy of God for He has already brought you out of darkness into His marvelous light so that you may praise Him! Praise God not only with your heart and mind but also with your eyes. You can know all the doctrine and practice all the good deeds you want but if your eyes are not pure then surely you are greatly deceived. The Lord tells the Pharisees to clean their internal filth and here He says to keep your eyes clear, lest you lose sight of your First Love.