To live is to be constantly taking in and putting out. We breathe and then exhale. We see and then react. We hear and then process. We eat and then . . . well you know. Life is a constant journey of movement. Spiritually speaking, this is true as well. We are never just standing still. We are either moving closer to the Lord or backsliding (Romans 6:19, 2 Peter 1:8-9).
One variable that will add to whether we are moving forward or moving backward is dependent upon what we are taking in. Put good in, get good out. Put bad in, get bad out. When Jesus tells us that our eyes are the lamp of our body, it means that what we look at is what we let in. He didn’t say our eyes are the light of our body. They are our lamps. A lamp can either be full of light, a dim source of light if it is wearing out, or it can be completely dark if the source of light is gone. Likewise, whatever we allow to fill our eyes is what we are allowing to fill our bodies.
Hence the importance of constantly looking to the Lord, “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:2). When we fix our eyes on Jesus, we are actively filling ourselves with him. “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:1-2). When we set our internal eyes (our mind and heart) on Christ, we are filling ourselves with the best, thus we are giving ourselves the best chance of getting the best out.
I have not seen too many dirt fields that stay just dirt for a long period of time. Things are going to grow in the dirt eventually. If no good seed is sown, then wild plants and weeds will eventually sprout up on their own. Our lives are a lot like an empty dirt field. They are always producing something because they are always hosting something. We can never just shut it all down, not seeing anything, not hearing anything, not thinking about nothing, and not doing anything. Even when we try to numb ourselves by doing mindless things like watching harmless TV shows and sports, we are still planting seeds in ourselves with what we are giving our attention to. If all we are feeding our hearts is empty calories that are not really bad but aren’t that good either, then we are still starving ourselves and regressing our spiritual health in Christ.
Therefore, since we really don’t have a choice to stay neutral in this life, we must be careful to accept the fact that what we put into ourselves is going to affect what comes out. Farming is not an easy job. It is very labor intensive. But it’s not overly complicated either. Put good seed in the soil, put good fertilizer in the soil, put good water in the soil, and more often than not the soil is going to produce a good crop.
We must regularly ask ourselves, “What has my attention truly been focused on?” When all you look at are the problems, then all that will be inside of you are problems. If you are not happy with what is coming out of you, it is wise to also take a serious look at what is going into you.