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No Worthless Things

"Be careful little eyes what you see!”  That is a line from a song that is often sung to children to teach them to protect their pure and innocent hearts from evil and corrupting images.  It is a good message to teach the children, but it also needs to be taught to parents.  Typically, "little eyes” only see what parents allow them to see, so it is the parents who need to be careful.  Moreover, "big eyes” need to be careful what they see as well.  There is no good reason for parents or anybody else to view the vile and filthy images that are produced in this world.

A great prescription for the spiritual health of our eyes and hearts was given by King David in Psalm 101.  In verse 3, he wrote, "I will set no worthless thing before my eyes” (NASB; the KJV says "wicked” instead of "worthless”).  It was David’s determination that he would not allow himself to be corrupted by ungodly images, words, or examples.  Certainly, he recognized the powerful influence exerted by the lust of the eyes (1John 2:16), for it was the lust of the eyes that led to his troubles involving Bathsheba (2Sam. 11).  To avoid such pitfalls ourselves, it would be wise to imitate David’s resolution and set no worthless thing before our own eyes.

Undoubtedly, there were many worthless things to set before one’s eyes during David’s time, but the volume and availability of worthless things has multiplied far beyond anything David could have imagined.  Pornography is now a billion dollar business that propagates the vilest images ever conceived by man.  This scourge of filth has spilled over into the mainstream media so that the vast majority of material produced by filmmakers, television producers, and publishers is not fit for human eyes.  With television, movies, magazines, books, the internet, cell phones, Ipods, and other modern ways of communication, the worthless things of our modern culture are delivered directly and instantly into our homes and set before our eyes every day.  Even worse is the fact that we typically pay these wicked people to set their worthless things before our eyes.

It is vitally important to protect our eyes from the worthless things of this world.  Notice what Jesus said about our eyes in Matthew 6:22-23.

"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.  If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

The Lord teaches us that both the images and the words that are taken in by our eyes have a profound effect upon our entire beings.  In the verses just prior to these words, Jesus spoke of the treasure of the heart, and our eyes are one channel into that treasure.  If we feed wickedness into our hearts through our eyes, then our hearts will be corrupted and our souls will be lost.  For this reason, Jesus said, "If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell” (Matt. 5:29; repeated in Matt. 18:9).

To set worthless things before our eyes and welcome them into our hearts contradicts the mandate that is given to us by God for good and godly stewardship of our hearts.  We have been told, "Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals’” (1Cor. 15:33).  Instead of keeping bad company with worthless things before our eyes, we are to dwell on the good things of God.  Notice Philippians 4:8 – "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”  Likewise, consider the directions of Colossians 3:1-2 – "Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”

Therefore, let us remove the worthless things from before our eyes.  These things have no place before the eyes of a Christian: pornography; television programs and movies that promote immorality, homosexuality, blasphemy, and wickedness, that glorify immodesty and profanity, and that degrade the family, the Bible, the church, and the Lord; sporting events that parade nearly naked women as cheerleaders and dancers; books and programs that deny the Creator and His word and promote evolution, humanism, evil, witchcraft, sorcery, etc.  This list could go on and on, but let us be succinct: those things which have no moral value whatsoever and promote ungodliness must be removed from before our eyes.  They must be replaced with those things that promote and support Bible morality, principles, and doctrines.  We cannot go out of the world (1Cor. 5:10), but we must strive to keep the world out of us.

Stacey E. Durham



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