Our Lord said, “And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.” (Mt. 18:9) Obviously, in emphasizing our need to be mindful of others, Jesus is using hyperbole. I’ve never met a Christian that took this literally and I doubt that you have.
That being said, there is a powerful point our Lord is making concerning the importance of our eyes. Our eyes, according to Scripture, are the “lamp of the body.” (Mt.6:22) Who among us has not had a time of struggle with his or her eyes? Whether it be lust, envy, conceit or a vast amount of other sins, we all know what Jesus means (and what He doesn’t mean) when it comes to sin with our eyes.
One tip I heard a brother give, that I find helpful on a very practical level, is to have “bouncing eyes.” If there’s something that is a temptation to you, be aware of that and keep your eyes keep moving. Don’t allow your eyes to “focus” on that which is spiritually harmful. In times of temptation, keep your eyes bouncing; keep them moving. Because keeping our eyes moving will keep our thoughts moving and if we keep our thoughts moving we can keep ourselves from stumbling with our eyes.
With the pandemic and the PAUSE that we’re all being forced to endure, there’s plenty of opportunities for us to fix our eyes on good things. Let’s do that. If there’s evil and darkness – keep the eyes bouncing. If it’s good, spiritual and of God – keep your eyes fixed. As the Hebrew writer said, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.” (Heb. 12:2)