Optical Adjustments

The need to adjust how and what we see.
As a novice to the world of photography, I’m learning much about the proper use of a camera. In days gone by, I just pointed and shot with my Kodak Instamatic. Now I’m more ambitious, and I’m learning that careful adjustment of various settings on the camera will produce a more lifelike and enduring image. I’m taking time to learn features such as shutter speed, exposure and depth of field.
Our Lord gave no advice on how to use cameras, but he said plenty about how to use our physical optical equipment. Our eyes are primary gateways to the mind, and there is a serious need to make careful adjustments if we want the right images embedded in our hearts.
The words of Jesus in Matthew 5:27,28 are well known: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (NKJV). Greek scholars tell us that a person’s reason for looking is the issue here. In our society it’s nearly impossible to avoid seeing attractive, scantily clad people on television and movie screens. But do we allow our eyes to dwell upon such scenes? Do we go looking for such sights? Jesus advised making careful optical adjustments.
In the next chapter, Jesus gave a fuller explanation: “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if you eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. …” (Matthew 6:22,23) The spiritual condition of my heart is most definitely influenced by the things upon which my eyes gaze.
David spotted a beautiful young woman bathing (2 Samuel 11). There is no indication he went searching for that scene. But the decision David made at that moment affected the rest of his life. Instead of adjusting his eyes to quickly turn away, he lingered upon her beauty. His mind was led away from God and into a shameful series of lust-driven events. If only he had closed the shutter!
The words of Psalm 101 are attributed to this same man: “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.” Were those words written before or after the events of 2 Samuel 11? No one knows. But knowing how David stumbled because of his wandering eyes makes the counsel all the more necessary.
God has blessed most of us with powerful optical equipment (our eyes). But he has also charged each of us to make adjustments when needed.
“So be careful little eyes what you see …”

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