By Allen White
The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
Okay, I’ll be honest. I had to do a little digging on this one. The meaning is not so obvious.
The first step in understanding this passage is to look at the context. The passage from yesterday is Jesus’ direction, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…” (Matthew 6:19-21). The passage following is Jesus’ admonition, “No one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). Even though today’s passage is about eyes and light, the context shows us that it’s really about wealth.
Jesus uses the concept of eyes and light as a metaphor. This passage has nothing to do with whether you’re far sighted, near sighted, or dealing with presbyopia and need reading glasses. What Jesus is getting at has more to do with what we’re focused on rather than how well we can focus.
An unhealthy eye, or an evil eye, sees the world through covetousness. An unhealthy eye wants everything that it sees. It is envious of what other’s have. The result is that it brings darkness into the soul.
A healthy eye is devoted to a single purpose. This eye looks through the lens of generosity. Whether we’re generous with wealth or words, a healthy eye brings light into our soul.
How do we see the world? Do we look at the world through eyes of scarcity or eyes of abundance? Do we see things and feel that we lack? Or, do we see things and feel grateful for the blessings in our lives?
As Tim Sanders writes in Today We Are Rich, “Like gratitude, generosity is a spiritual muscle. When you build it up, you possess the strength to give freely and, with enough development, to be free from an inordinate attachment to possessions or status. When we don’t give the generosity muscle attention because of our possession oriented culture, it grows flabby. That is why some people have fleeting moments of generosity and yet on a day-to-day basis remain self-centered.”
The Bible tells us, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord” (Ephesians 5:9-10).
Goodness, righteousness and truth are things that God gives to us. It’s not a matter of our working harder, but of asking God to give this to us. When we focus on Christ rather than the world, our eyes become healthy and light enters our souls.
Helen Keller wrote, “Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” Helen Keller lived in a dark, silent world, blind and deaf since birth, yet her healthy spiritual eyes shed a great deal of light on her soul.
What are your eyes focused on these days? Do you see all that you have and how you can be generous? Or are you stuck on all that you lack? Fortunately, diseased eyes are not terminal. By refocusing on your life’s purpose on Christ, His light will flood your soul.