The Eye Gate Part 1

In chapter 13 I listed various areas in which I still need to improve (and it is only a partial list). One of those things was “I need to be more stringent with what I allow in my eye gate.” This post is broken into two parts for the two areas that were covered by that statement.

I don’t care who you are, what level of ministry you have attained, how spiritual you/others think you are, you need to be using some sort of Internet accountability/filtering software. I highly recommend Covenant Eyes (with the filter), which I have used for a few years. Maybe you claim that you’re not tempted. Good for you. Let’s assume that you’re right–that you’re not tempted 99% of the time. That 1% can come back to bite. The enemy likes to get people to “prove their spirituality” by not using any kind of accountability program and then thoroughly enjoys proving them wrong. You’re not proving anything other than the fact that you are not very wise.

The beach or the pool is another place where we have to put a guard on our eyes. Indeed, in many cases, there is not much left to the imagination. However, if you’re like me, since you know what you’re going to encounter, the “guard” is alert and on-duty at the gate. I am learning (it’s a process), that the guard on my eyes needs to be present ALL the time. In other words, there are places where you don’t expect to see, for example, a ton of cleavage (like a corporate setting), so sometimes a situation like that presents itself and the guard at my eye-gate has taken a coffee break because he was deemed not needed. The shock of seeing immodesty in a place you would not expect it causes me, by reflex, to look away. However, I then have a choice to make. Do I keep looking away or do I take another look? Friends, sin begins in that second look. I would say the majority of the time I don’t take a second look. However, until that “majority” becomes “all,” I still have room to grow.

With the above being said, let’s assume for a moment that you and I never take a second look. Have we achieved spiritual greatness at this point? Um, in my opinion, no. Are “blinders” what Jesus meant for us to have, like horses do? After all, the average wardrobe is becoming more and more revealing. Does this mean we will have to walk around staring at our shoestrings? I mean, we have to look up at some point or we will pose a danger to ourselves and others.

Friends, I learned something about the human brain that opened up a whole new understanding for me. The brain does not accept/hear/process negatives. In other words, if you say/think that you are NOT going to focus on something, to your brain, you are. Here’s an example:

What you SAY in your mind:
“I’m not going to take a second look at her beautiful ____ (you fill in the blank).”

What your brain HEARS:
“I’m not going to take a second look at her beautiful ____.”

The very fact that you are focusing on the negative, well, creates a focus on the thing you’re trying most to avoid. This is why people end up repeating behavior they most detest.

“I’m not going to date someone like my ex because he abused me” becomes “I’m not going to date someone like my ex because he abused me.”

“I’m not going to be like my mother/father” becomes “I’m not going to be like my mother/father.”

The list could go on and on. So, with respect to an opposite sex situation, avoid saying to yourself, “Do not look at her beautiful ___.” Rather, say, “She is a precious child of God for whom Jesus died. I wonder what about her upbringing, or her current situation, caused her to feel the need to dress that way. Maybe she needs a promotion and in today’s world, that’s one way to get it. I wonder if she missed out on having a dad who loved her. Father, move in her life I pray in Jesus’ name.” (A word of warning here. Be very careful about thinking YOU are the one to “minister” to her.)

Simply put, we can put a guard on our eyes, and that’s a good first step, but ultimately, we want God to transform our eyes into the eyes of Jesus. That transformation takes place from the inside out, not the outside it. It involves being so full of God that love and compassion just pour out of us. When that happens, it will not be the person’s clothing (or lack thereof) that catches our attention, but the pain/sadness/emptiness in his/her eyes.

My prayer each and every day is that, as I do my part by pursuing deeper intimacy with God, He will give me His eyes, His ears, and His heart.

Read Part 2