“The eye is the lamp of the body. So if the eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6: 22-23 NRSV)
Jesus was instructing the people on how to deal with this business called life. He taught them what words to use, told them how to carry themselves when fasting and praying in public. Then he tells them about the eye being the lamp of the body. Jesus knew what they didn’t—that God is not interested so much in our words or our actions as much as he is interested in the condition of our hearts. In essence, what Jesus was challenging these people to see was that their success in life was dependent upon their attitude.
A lamp is an instrument of illumination. So what Jesus is saying, is that the “eye” is what lights up our entire being. If we think of the eye in the terms of which we are most familiar, we use it to see and behold things. We use our eye to form our vision. In the verses preceding this one, Jesus tells the crowd not to hold fast to the things of this earth because sooner or later, they fade away; he encourages them to set their “eyes” on things that are eternal, the things that cannot be destroyed. Our visions, the things we see and want for ourselves, are what propel us through life. If we have our hearts set on positive things, we tend to follow through with actions to bring those dreams to pass. But what happens when we get hung up on negative thoughts? So often we get trapped in someone else’s dream, or the dream we once had falls apart. What then? What happens when our vision fails?
As we grow and continue to learn, it is important to remember that we must keep a healthy vision for ourselves. Stay in touch with positive people who also have healthy visions. Refocus by reading scripture, literature on self improvement, and doing activities that will keep your mind off the negativity—volunteer at your church or a local non-profit organization. Not finding employment in your field of expertise? Look at the skills you have and decide which are transferable into another field! Find another way of doing the very thing you love doing! For all you know, God may bless your efforts and you may become an entrepreneur! Set your vision on the things that are eternal—know that God has good things in store for you.