Day 1: Tame It! Taming Our Eyes
“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways” (Psalm 119:37, ESV).
If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t think all that much about seeing—you just do it. But when we look into God’s Word, it becomes clear that we should actually be very mindful of our eyes and, more importantly, what we choose to do with them.
Let’s try to understand our eyes as the Bible portrays them. The book of Proverbs tells us this: “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart” (Proverbs 21:2).
We can see that we are people who too often rely on our own understanding, which is not always in line with what God wants. Our eyes are connected to our hearts, spiritually speaking, and God knows the true intentions of both. Jesus emphasized the relationship between our eyes and sinful hearts when He said, “Everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). If that sounds extreme, that’s because it is. God cares very much about what we choose to do with our eyes because it affects our hearts. If we’re followers of God, we should care too.
The answer to how we should use our eyes is found in the Lord Jesus. We know He cares about our eyes, not only because of how often He spoke about them but also because of the many times He restored the sight of people who were blind (e.g., Mark 8). So how does He want us to tame our eyes?
First of all, He wants us to be willing to sacrifice. He said, “If your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire” (Matthew 18:9).
Those words are serious, and they require a lot from us. No, we shouldn’t actually tear out our eyes. The application is that we need to make every effort to keep our eyes from leading us to sin. We may have to delete apps, block websites, or create boundaries within toxic relationships—even if it’s hard. But when we intentionally choose to cut out what is causing sin, we will be able to use our eyes as Jesus commanded. We have to remember that obedience to everything God commanded is worth it, even something as drastic as this. Therefore, we should make it our goal to uphold the same intentional attitude as the writer of Psalm 101:
“I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not fasten its grip on me” (Psalm 101:3, NASB).
We see an example of this in the Bible from a man named Job, who took what he did with his eyes so seriously that he made a covenant.
He said, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?” (Job 31:1). Job understood that using his eyes in a way that honored God mattered, so he made the intentional choice not to look at any woman he knew he shouldn’t. While it may seem like he was weak or failed easily, if we’re honest with ourselves, we know we do too. But when we admit our weakness, with dependence on God, we can allow His power to reign in our lives so that our eyes are used for His glory (2 Corinthians 12:9).
That is the next way we learn to tame our eyes: taking hold of God’s power, which comes to us from God’s Word. Psalm 19:8 says, “The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.” In order to tame our eyes as the Lord intends, we need to immerse ourselves in His precepts and commandments—in the Bible. Then, our eyes will be enlightened to do what pleases Him, and we will rejoice from knowing and obeying His Word. No matter when it is, spend time in God’s Word every day; read it, think on it, and obey what it says.
Lastly, we need to be people who pray. We cannot tame our eyes on our own. Even though it is our responsibility to be diligent, we need God’s help. And so we should follow the example of the psalmist, who prayed, “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways” (Psalm 119:37).