Cleaning Our Lenses

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If you eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light” (Lk.11:34+). What does Jesus mean by having “clear” vision?

We all “see” through filters we have constructed over a lifetime of experience. If I have a solid bond with God and a strong sense of His presence in my life, then I will look at my everyday experiences with my heart full of God’s love and my thoughts based on the assumption that I am not alone. In short, I see life  through the lens of my relationship with God. On the other hand, if I have little or no sense of God with me, and I have learned to dread anything out of the ordinary, then I a may be seeing life through the lenses of isolation, shame, or despair.

What we need to be aware of is that our presuppositions or assumptions about our life become lenses through which we then see everything we walk through. In other words, we ourselves are deeply involved in how we see life. We sometimes operate under the illusion that we are dealing directly with raw data and with reality as it actually is. But the truth is that we are only dealing with our perceptions of reality and our interpretations of our perceptions.

Now the good news is that many of our perceptions are right on. We feel the ground under our feet, we see the other people in the room, we can tell when we are about to walk into an object before we get there, and so on. Our perceptions in these areas are fairly accurate reflections of the real world. And to a great extent, this is also true of the non-physical realities that we deal with all the time. We can tell when someone is glad to be with us or when they are not; we can tell when a relationship is improving and when it is not; we can tell when the conversation we are having with a person is wearing thin and needs to change direction.

But there are many other areas in the unseen realm where our vision can be deeply flawed. We may think of God as being highly critical and judgmental; we may think of Him as being far away or disinterested in our life; we may see ourselves as unlovable, irredeemably defective and broken; we may be resigned to isolation or fear or hopelessness; we may have taken on mistaken goals for our life such as getting rich or seeking pleasure; the list is endless.

All of these kinds problems become lenses through which we view our life. They actually distort reality for us and make it more difficult to live as God intended. Jesus is telling us to be careful about our vision, because it can determine the level of light that enters our body and our existence. I think this is what leads the psalmist to declare, “Search me, O God, and know my heart…see if there is any hurtful way in me” (Ps.139).

To whatever extent is possible, we need to see what God sees. His eyesight is clear. And when we allow Him to speak into our life, He can show us what He sees. And then we will live in ever greater light!

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