The Toxicity of Sexual Sin Day 2: Guarding Our Eyes
I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. (Psalm 101:3, ESV)
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. (Matthew 5:28-29, ESV)
The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. (Matthew 6:22, ESV)
Are you a head turner? What I mean is this: if you see an attractive person, do you eye them with more than a passing glance? And if you do, what do you think when you look at that person? Are your thoughts lustful—do you imagine certain things about this person that are impure? This thought pattern is pretty common, unfortunately, but it doesn’t excuse us. Our wandering eyes will lead us to sinful thoughts.
How about what you watch on TV, social media, or your phone/computer? Does it promote a healthy spiritual life, or lead you to sexually impure thoughts? When scrolling or flipping through channels, do you move past unsuitable material, or make excuses for why it isn’t a problem?
The truth is that we can train our eyes if we first train our hearts. Acknowledging that we have a weakness is helpful, but setting boundaries associated with our own weaknesses is wise. It’s not helpful for our own growth and development as Christians to make excuses or compare ourselves to others. Unless our comparison is based on God’s Word, we will allow ourselves to live outside of His best plan for us. We often try to make ourselves feel better by acknowledging our particular problem is one many others wrestle with, but if we fail to set boundaries to protect ourselves, we will fall.
I love how the Psalmist makes this claim: “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.” David had learned a valuable lesson prior to writing Psalm 101. When he looked on Bathsheba bathing on the rooftop, he lusted after her, sent for her, committed adultery with her, and then murdered her husband to cover his sin, losing their child as a result. His eyes led him on a path to sin, pain, heartache and death. I’m sure when he wrote this psalm he recalled his past with remorse.
Again, today’s study is filled with a few personal challenges:
*Identify your weaknesses.
*Set boundaries that align with Scripture.
*Turn from looking at worthless things.
*Re-direct your eyes and your thoughts.
May each of us be willing to acknowledge that our minds are capable of sin before actions even take place. If we look on someone with lustful thoughts, we are guilty of adultery or fornication. That’s a serious offense before a holy God—a God who called us out of darkness and into His light. We are to live lives that are characterized by purity of mind and body. If we guard our eyes, we can guard our mind. If we guard our mind, our body follows. May we be willing to start at the beginning and set parameters that will bring honor to Christ, with our bodies reflecting a submitted heart. This simple discipline will save us from heartache and pain and the disappointment we experience when we fail to glorify God with every part of ourselves.