Jesus said: “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!” (Matthew 6:23)
The Greeks of old thought the eye was like a lamp. It illumined the world around a person much like the light of a flashlight in the dark. Jesus altered this well-known metaphor by saying it is not so much about what our eyes illuminate but what they take in. Our eyes do not remain neutral to the external stimuli they see. If our eyes take in darkness, that darkness contaminates the body and makes it dark. However, if our eyes take in light, light fills our body.
In today’s world, our eyes are inundated with darkness. Even those TV shows that generally promote good values often have less virtuous story lines interwoven. How a producer portrays the substance of a show matters greatly.
In a scene in a movie that will be released nationally in a couple months called “Sabina”, a recent convert to Christianity turns to his wife after going out to a movie and says, “I think I’ll go out and take a woman to a hotel room tonight.” The wife startled by the comment says, “Whatever do you mean?” He was making a point. If we keep showing content that makes sin look normal, eventually it will seem normal. Think about how recent changes in TV, movie, and music content impacts young people today.
Christ calls his followers to take a discerning eye to the world. Not everything presented as normal ought to be. Being a Christian today takes a grander vision than the one most TV shows, movies, and songs present.
Christ calls us to look at him ten times for every one time we look at the world. We are not to turn away from the darkness but bring into the darkness the light of Christ. Here we find beauty, love, and purity the world does not know but nevertheless longs for. Here we find “kindness to the greatest and the least, gentleness that sows that path of peace,” and much more, to use the words of a popular Christian hymn.
The world longs for things like these, but too often looks in the wrong places. In Christ alone they are to be found.