“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.” (Genesis 3:6a NIV)
What we see and what we hear has a powerful influence on our thoughts and actions, and has had from the beginning of time. For instance, remember Eve? She was the first woman, the first wife, and the first mother, but unfortunately, she also had the dubious distinction of being the first to fail — the first to sin. We don’t know the whole story, but it’s possible that she’d been looking at and thinking about that beautiful tree for a long time, wondering how the fruit would taste. Various translations say that the fruit was “pleasant to the eye”, “looked beautiful and tasty”, and was a “delight to the eyes”. So, when the serpent came along with his twisted version of God’s Word, she listened — and the rest of the story has impacted history for eons.
“Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness.” (Luke 11:34 NIV)
“I will not look with approval on anything that is vile.” (Psalm 101:3a NIV 2011)
Her eyes and her ears were focused on the wrong person. What we take in through both those sources of input gets embedded in our brains and affects our thoughts and our actions. In the last few years, I’ve become increasingly aware of this problem. I’ve restricted my viewing and reading; there are many television shows, movies and commercials that I can’t watch and books that I can’t read because they create images in my mind that lead me into paths of thinking that I don’t want to tread. I can’t let those ideas and images rest in my brain. One thought leads to another, and soon, I’m thinking about situations and ideas that have no place in the mind of God’s child.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8 NIV)
There is an answer — a solution — as laid out in this verse. Use these criteria to measure what we watch, what we read, what we listen to, even who we listen to. Measure every source of input by the Bible — even the sermons that we hear at church or on various media. Then, our minds can be free to focus on God.
Prayer: Father, help us to keep our minds pure, to measure every source of input by Your Word, by Your commandments, by Your statutes. Give us the strength to focus our eyes and ears always on You. Thank You, Father, for Your guidance and love. Amen.
Apache Junction, Arizona, USA
Reprinted from the PresbyCan Daily Devotional with the author’s permission