As a little boy, I (and probably many of you!) learned a song that began: “Oh, be careful little eyes what you see . . . Oh, be careful little ears what you hear . . .”
I’ve learned the value of guarding what I see and hear. Take in good things, and good things will likely come out. The opposite is akin to the programming concept of “garbage in, garbage out.” Regardless, the more we take the same things in, the more we become them. Why? Neuroplasticity. The brain remaps itself based on practices and preferences. Feed it garbage, and you’ll likely become garbage in thought and deed. This is likely the case here:
“For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie . . . God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural . . . men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another . . . God gave them over to a depraved mind . . .” (Romans 1:25-28).
The ears? We listen to what sounds (or feels) good and were warned that people will chase whatever sounds good in the last days (2 Timothy 4:3).
The eyes? Jesus explained in Matthew 6:22-23 that what we watch reflects our inner being: “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. . . .” Pornography and its sexual immoralities. Violence. Gossip. Conspiracies. You get the idea. The eyes and ears can cause spiritual death if we’re not careful.
But there’s a way out. We don’t have to habitually take in what will kill us spiritually. Jesus teaches that we are to remove stumbling blocks—those practices that will keep us from God’s Kingdom: “If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.” (Matthew 18:9; 5:29)
How? We can, like Job, make a righteous deal with our eyes and ears (Job 31:1 NIV) to not “look at anything vile and vulgar.” (Psalm 101:3) Here’s Paul’s advice: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Galatian 5:17). Discipline yourself to see, hear, and practice good things and live, or choose depravity and die. Let me know if I can help you decide!
In summary, be careful little eye what you see, ear what you hear, to enter the coming age! In the following article, we’ll uncover that Jesus died to make that possible for you.
Blessings and peace,
Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.