A Right and a Wrong Use of the Eye

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 10
The first great point to establish in order to ascertain the error of anything is to obtain a perfect knowledge of what is true and right. That which is right must he singular, while the counterfeits may be endless in number and variety. A banker once said, on being asked how he knew a bad note, "I never consider whether a note is a bad one; I ascertain whether it be a good one." If I know what is right, it is very easy and simple for me to reject that which does not answer thereto. Many weary themselves to no profit in examining the suspicious to see whether the grounds for suspicion exist, whereas if they had simply adhered to that which they knew was right they could have discerned and rejected the pretender at once, even though they might not have been able to tell the exact grounds on which they rejected it. I may add that when I have rejected any pretension as spurious, I may then, in order to convince others, examine the imperfections which prove its ungenuineness; but the first occupation of my eye, whether in choice or in discernment, should not be with the imperfection or evil.
How then ought the eye to be occupied? If I am not able to determine this, I shall not find it very easy to determine how it ought not; whereas if I can decide the right occupation for my eye, I can easily perceive what is not so.
Here lies the cause of so much indecision and inconsistency. People have not defined to themselves what is right, and hence they make a trial of every offer on its own merits instead of on the merits of an ascertained standard. Now the right occupation of the eye must be determined by reference to the power that has a right to control it. If the Lord has this right, then its occupation must be in accordance with His mind and appointments down here while in the body. The engagement or occupation of any organ is characterized by the power which controls it. If the Lord controls my eye, it is occupied and engaged with what is interesting to Him. If my eye is controlled by my own will, it will be characterized by my carnal tastes and likings; and it is a very active agent in furnishing the natural mind with provision for its enmity against God. Eve saw that the forbidden fruit was pleasant to the eye; and this promoted in her heart an inclination to act in independence of God. It is wonderful how the verdict of the eye affects us about everything, and how much that judgment is the fruit of our own state of soul.
Two persons may see the same thing with totally different impressions, but the impression imparted to each is in relation to his own peculiar state and condition before his eye thus acted. One admires, while another turns away pained from beholding the very same scene. The body is the Lord's, and the eye is the Lord's.
Either the Spirit of God is using my eye to embrace and survey all that is important for me to see in my course, or the natural mind is using it to furnish materials for its own support; and therefore the "lust of the eye" is classed with the "lust of the flesh," though no man ever thinks that they could be placed together as morally equal. Both link us to the world which is not of the Father, and the "lust of the eye" is even the more dangerous of the two, because least feared or discountenanced, although Scripture abounds with warnings touching the dangers for the eye. Remember the eye sends back a message to the soul corresponding to the power which used it. If the Lord uses it, then an impression furnishing materials for His will is conveyed to the soul; if my own mind has used it, the impression will, on the contrary, furnish materials for its own promotion which, to a Christian, is a double loss; for not only does it deprive him of what he might have gained for the Lord, but it acquires for him that which hinders and shuts out his sense of the Father's love. How little do our souls ponder these things and take them to heart!