Friday, 9 October 2015

You can't always help what you see...

But you can control of what you look at!

One of the clever bits of the, 'If it offends, chop it off, ' joined up thinking from Jesus is that it maps out for us something very important indeed. Jesus, is on a par with Psalm One, as he outlines the path to sin but what we have is not the 'Rake's Progress' of the Psalm but the rational assessment of sin and the parts our bodies play in it.

In Psalm One we find the pattern by which people fall as being a progression:

First they find themselves alongside the wicked

Then they find themselves doing what the 'sinners' do, and then

The end up sitting (reclining) with them and at ease in their company (because they have become one of them.

In the eye/hand/foot conversation, Jesus brings it all into focus. I'd like to extend it just a tad further as we consider wrong acts and thoughts, for they almost always start with what we see [eye] and then we engage with it  by moving [foot] ourselves into a place where can see (or hear - think ears should be included here) better and the final element being that of touching or grasping  [hand].

The problem is that all too often the person with the problem will, if they come into conversation with me over it, tell me how it wasn't their fault because the visual spur for the wrong act or was the initial cause of some lustful or other wrong thinking. 'I couldn't help myself,' is sadly a cop out. Hence the title of this post:

You can't always help what you see ... 
but you are in control what you look at
and of what you do!

Consider Joseph and Potiphar's wife - he didn't stop around to look or touch but used his feet to get out of the situation - he legged it! We have the same ability! So if you think you're in a place where what you see could cause you to stumble: Leg it before the problems become reality.

We can choose what we see and the situations we are in can surely be exited from should they prove to be damaging to our spiritual well-being and our our ability to keep with right actions.


1 comment:

JonG said...

This post, and another recent one on masturbation, both reminded me of a poem by Steve Turner called "Just One More Time." I've got it in his collection "Up To Date".

It isn't very long and is hard to quote selectively from, but I cannot find it online, so I shall try :

"Lead me into temptation
just one more time
Lead me up close
through circumstances
beyond my control.....

Leave me 'til sin
is the only way out....

Then lead me back
into temptation
just one more time."

We are sometimes guilty not just of using temptation as a convenient excuse, but actively seeking it out for that purpose.

And I hope that, were he to read this, Steve would not think that I had quoted too much of his work (or that he will count this genuine recommendation to seek out his work as adequate compensation!)