June 16th

 

Eye Control

“A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool's eyes wander to the ends of the earth” Proverbs 17:24 NIV

 

As I read this verse, I thought of an application to the challenges of living for purity in a pornographic society.  With magazines, TV, movies, internet, email, billboards, and permissive clothing styles, it seems that there have never been more opportunities for our eyes to wander into trouble.   Learning how to control our eyes in such a tempting environment is essential if we hope to succeed in keeping our minds pure. 

 

It is human nature to want to look at interesting things.  When we add an element of sexual excitement, the desire to look increases dramatically.  God has given us tools to help us stand up against the desire to look and lust. 

 

The first tool God has given us is our conscience.  The Holy Spirit speaks through our conscience daily.  When we heed our conscience and turn away from the danger, our conscience remains intact.  When we ignore it and dive into the temptation, we open the door for deception and the voice of our conscience will get muted.  If we ignore it long enough, we may lose discernment of good and evil completely. 

 

A second tool God has given us is the power to choose what we look at.  This is easy to forget when a tempting add pops up on our browser or a sexy commercial runs on the TV.  It’s easy to get mesmerized by the interesting images and their storyline and continue to look even when we know we shouldn’t be.  We can realign our power to control our eyes by exercising good viewing habits.  This could involve shutting our eyes, flipping to a safe channel, turning the computer off, looking the other direction or even slapping ourselves in the face.  Whatever it takes to break the daze – that’s what we must do. 

 

In college I spent some time with the Navigators in doing “beach evangelism.”  One of the things we practiced was “keeping our eyes in the boat” when we were jogging on the beach. This meant that we fixed our gaze ahead of us and didn’t look to the right or left to check out the “beach scenery” (i.e. women in swimsuits).  I was skeptical that it would work, but after practicing it I found that it did work.  Since God freed me from sex addiction, I have continued to practice keeping my eyes “in the boat” when I’m out in public.  

 

A third tool God has given us is the word of God.  I think of the word when I read about “keeping wisdom in view.”  God’s word is pure wisdom and it helps us recognize evil and steer clear of it.  Having scripture verses in the forefront of our thoughts when facing temptation will help us make the right decision.  Memorizing key verses (see temptation verses) or at least having them handy to recite will help us "sober-up" in our thoughts and break the daze of temptation.  

 

A final tool God has given us is discretion, which is “the ability to make responsible decisions.”  Discretion includes the idea of planning.  God has given humans the extraordinary ability to plan ahead.  We can avoid getting ourselves into overwhelming temptation by making responsible decisions that will prevent the scenario from ever being set up.  Here are some examples:

 

Since sex addicts are usually skilled in planning ahead to feed their lusts, they can now turn this “skill” around and use it to avoid the very circumstances that they have set up in the past. 

 

I pray that all of us will heed the proverb above and choose to not allow our eyes to wander into trouble.  May we all keep wisdom in view at all times.

 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord Jesus, I surrender my eyes to you for your purposes.  Please forgive me for using my eyes to view evil in the following ways: __________(list).   Please cleanse me of the evil that has entered my mind as a result.   Lord, please refill me with the power of the Holy Spirit, renew my conscience and convict me of any sinful viewing habits I still am sheltering.  Please set a guard over my eyes and help me to make responsible decisions such that I do not fall into tempting situations.  Thank you for the wonderful gift of my eyes.  I commit to using them to glorify you from this point forward.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”