Considering all the tools you’re working with for sexual wholeness – group work, reading, one on one counseling, software filters – how are your eyes?
A key component to your becoming whole is how you are seeing other people. Hashtags, movies, social media scrolls and commercials are at war with the important work you’re doing. Open your eyes to acknowledge the battle for your vision.
Then open your heart to pray, “Lord, help me see.”
We strive in our culture to become attractive because we want others to see us as “good.”
Goodness is not found in other people being drawn to us. Goodness is found by virtue of being created by God.
It is up to the beholder to see the good God has sown into other people.
There is something wrong with our eyes, with our hearts, when we are perceiving people as either objects or obstacles.
How do we see people differently? This is a process of growing in the virtue of love. It is a lifelong process, and it comes with suffering and with trial and with effort and by grace.
The process begins when we acknowledge where & how we are wrongly seeing people, where we are competing or comparing, weighing or measuring their worth with our eyes. We confess the wrongness of that before the Lord. We ask the Lord to search our hearts.
We pray – asking God to give us eyes to see.
When you recognize you don’t see others with decency, pray the words of the blind man, “Lord, I want to see.”
This Episode’s Transcription
One of the things I learned from Christopher West, one of the many things I’ve learned from author and speaker Christopher West, is his discussion about the way that we look at each other and the way that we are looked at by one another. And remember, one point him giving an example of being in the bathroom, after a shower and somebody knocking on the door and asking, Are you decent? And he objects to that terminology? Because he says the real question is not whether the person who is naked is decent, because God has made that person decent, their body, their naked body is actually very good. According to Genesis one. They are very good, they’re fearfully and wonderfully made, and their body in all its glorious nakedness. Images, God, not the God is a body or the god is naked. But God’s invisible attributes are seen through that are clearly seen through that which has been made, including male and female, who he created in God’s image and likeness. So where’s the where’s the question of decency? The question of decency is actually it actually belongs in the person who’s knocking at the door? That’s the person who we have to ask, Are you decent? Are your eyes decent enough? To look upon my naked body and to see and honor the person in front of you? Now, the obvious answer to that question in for most of us, or for most of the world around us, is no, the problem is not with the person who’s naked, the problem is the person whose eyes are not decent enough to look at a naked body a naked person, and see them and honor them. Now, I’m not in any way suggesting here that that really, you know, those who live in nudist colonies have it right. I’m not suggesting that men and women should be able to walk around naked, and it’s everybody else’s problem, to look at them, the way they ought to look at them. That day has passed, we live in a fallen world. And so it is right and good that we would wear clothing. But, but it is still our problem, that we do not see one another rightly, it is still our problem, that our eyes aren’t when our eyes are not decent enough to look upon another person, and to see them as an image bearer of God and one who is worthy of honor, in their, in their being as their as their biological sex, male or female. So when I go to the beach, for example, the beaches has been a place for me of some level of temptation over the years. And as I’ve grown, both in age and in virtue, it’s become less of a place of temptation, but it continues to be a place where I need to be vigilant, because there is there remains what the church is called concupiscence. Inside of me, there remains in me a tendency a leaning towards looking at people sinfully in this in that case, specifically looking at at people lustfully. And so I want to continue to grow to be a person whose eyes can look rightly another person, what does that mean to look rightly, another person, it means to see a whole human person, as God sees that whole human person. It means not to see an object for my selfish gratification. It means not to dissect a person visually so that I just look at his or her body parts, but rather to see a whole human person with a heart a mind, a will, hopes and dreams and hurts and pains.
And it means that when I see that other person, what I am willing, for that other person with my look when I’m willing for that other person is good, it is good. And my eyes toward them, my eyes on them will nothing wants nothing, pursue nothing, but the good of the other person, not my selfish gratification, not sexual pleasure. Not even dare I say not even that that person would be attractive to me because I like looking at attractive people, but rather than my eyes would be decent enough, that I’m not concerned about whether or not I am attracted to them, but rather I see in them by virtue of the fact that they are created by God and in his image. I see in them a beauty and a goodness and a strength that is theirs to day in whatever condition however young however old however, wouldn’t get in shape or out of shape they are I see a valuable, worthwhile person that God has made. And the crazy thing here is and how upside down this is in our culture is that we strive in our culture to become attractive. Why? Because we want others to see us as good, right? We want to be attractive. In other words, we want to look a certain way that we become attractive somebody becomes drawn to us, because we believe that when that happens, then we become good. But goodness is not found. In other people being drawn to us. Goodness is found by virtue of being created by God. And it is up to the the beholder. To behold the good that God has sown into other people. Hey, friends, if you have something we should be talking about on the show? Let us know. Send us an email at podcast at regeneration ministries, dot O R G. In the meantime, please be sure to review Rate, Subscribe and share this podcast back to the show. Now, I don’t know if you’re following me at all up to this point, I hope you are I hope you are. And what I’m trying to do is is really challenge some of the paradigms that we live with. I’m trying to challenge some of the the the the wisdom that’s just in the airwaves around us wisdom, quote, unquote, the wisdom that’s around us and the assumptions we make about the way that beauty is supposed to work. And attractiveness is supposed to work and goodness is supposed to work and our eyes are supposed to work. The opposite. Also, by the way, the opposite is also true, that we don’t always look at others, with a desire to win with the interest of being them being attractive to us. Sometimes we look at others as obstacles not as objects, but as obstacles, we see them and we judge them as being less valuable. And so we want them out of our way. What makes the person less valuable? Well, one is certainly in our culture, if I if I don’t find that person attractive if they don’t have certain measurements. And even even that, I mean, you can hear in that phraseology like there’s a like to measure a human person by their body type, or by the size of parts of their body. I mean, it’s so calculated and so subjective. And so I don’t know, I mean, it’s, I think when we get down to that level, it’s, it’s really, it’s ugly, right? Like, like we that’s what we do with cattle. That’s what we do with, with property, we measure those things to find their value.
We weigh those things to find their value, but that ought not be the case with a human person with a human individual. When we’ve moved into that way of perceiving other people, it’s not their problem, it is ours. We are seeing wrongly, there’s something wrong with our eyes, there’s something wrong with our hearts, that we are perceiving people in this way as either objects or obstacles. And so what’s the solution? How do we see people differently? Well, as I alluded to, this is I believe, a process. For most of us, I know that God can do miraculous things and change the way that we see. But I think for most of us, this is a part of growing in the virtue of love. And it is a lifelong process. And it comes with suffering. And it comes with trial. And it comes with effort. And it comes certainly most of all by grace. But it is not something that we just sit back and expect to happen to us. We enter into acknowledging where we are wrongly seeing people where we are evaluating or competing or comparing, or, or or weighing or measuring someone with our eyes, we confess that acknowledge the wrongness of that before the Lord. We asked the Lord to search our hearts, we asked the Lord, to expose the ways that we are that we are seeing people wrongly and that our eyes are no longer decent to be able to see his creation, as we ought to see. And we and we move into prayer. We asked him to give us eyes to see many of you heard me talk about this before. But I resonate so much with the prayer of the blind man that Jesus heals when he says, What do you want me to do? Do for you? And he says, Lord, I want to see. And I think we all can pray those same words. And when we recognize that we don’t see others with decency, that we are that we are seeing them wrongly, we cry out, Lord, I want to see and we can begin to imagine there. What does that mean? If God truly opens our eyes truly heals our eyes to become decent again to behold others, the way that he beholds them, what might happen to our perspective of the world, how might we view other people differently? What might that do when we’re out? In the beach, what might that do to us on our morning commute? What might that do when we’re online? On social media? What might that do when we’re standing in the grocery store line? What might they do as we’re parenting, or we’re looking at our spouse or husband or a wife? I think it would radically transform our perspective, all those around us. And it because it would radically transform us. So I hope you followed my ramblings, I’m pouring out my heart here. This is a journey that I’m on. But I think there’s something really important here. And I hope that it challenges you and encourages you. So let me just close with this prayer. Or give us eyes to see, we’ve been blind for so long, our vision has been cloudy for so long. It’s even hard for us to imagine what we’re missing. We are so accustomed to evaluating, to comparing to lusting, to loathing to measuring with our eyes. Lord, we are so accustomed to it. It’s just almost unfathomable to us to imagine seeing the world differently, seeing others differently. Or we get glimpses here and there as we view a young child. And we get glimpses sometimes as you look upon us and we experience your eyes in a different way. Lord, give us your eyes to see. I am praying for true miracle here, Lord. Give us your eyes to see and your heart to perceive others the way that you do. Glory, praise for the good of the world, prays for our good. And we prayed for Your glory today and forevermore, and the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
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Great stuff, Josh! Some wonderful nuggets in this episode. Powerful!
Parabéns! Ótimo artigo, acompanho seu trabalho…obrigado por isso!