LINKS DAILY DEVOTIONAL
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Monday’s devotion (9/7/2009)
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I will set before my eyes no vile thing. (Psalm 101:3, NIV)
Not too many people follow a shank with their eyes. Rather, the moment the ball comes off the club, they drop their head and wince. It’s just too hard to look at something that ugly!
If only we could control our eyes in all circumstances like this.
When David wrote that he would set his eyes on no vile thing, his context was simple: he wanted his house to be a blameless one. And he wanted to be the leader of that blamelessness. This means he had to be prepared to deny access to anything that would defile his home.
Certainly we make every attempt to do this against those who would steal our possessions or do us physical harm. Some folks install elaborate alarm systems; others keep a gun available for self-defense. Our doors have peepholes that allow us to see who is on the other side before we throw those doors open to potentially harmful strangers. Some live in gated communities, where a guard in the shack keeps an extra eye on things. In so many ways, we employ protection.
And yet, we often forget to be so diligent with our souls. What enters our minds can enter our souls quite quickly if our defenses are not in place. And what enters our minds comes through only two avenues: our eyes and our ears.
Which makes it imperative that we ask two questions with great regularity:
- What am I allowing my eyes to see?
- What am I permitting my ears to hear?
A psalmist wrote elsewhere of lifting his eyes to the hills, seeking the help of the Lord (Psalm 121:1). It is a powerful suggestion, that God’s beauty leads us to God. Our normal mode of operation is to let our eyes wander through the world with little discernment, figuring that God can win out over any trash that “happens” to make its way into our brain.
This is not the choice David was seeking to make in his own life. He wanted to establish a proactive defense against the things that would threaten his soul and the souls in his care. We know, sadly, that David was not always successful in this defense, and that he paid a dear price for his unguarded moments. But that is all the more reason to learn from his example, both in its positive and negative aspects.
We cannot always govern what comes knocking on the door of our mind—but we can make the decision now to shut our eyes and our ears from things that would tear us from right relationship with God.
September 8, 2009
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