Jesus says, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, 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)
I grew up with parents who kept their bible on the nightstand beside their bed. It was always open to the page they read the night before. Right beside their bible was a book called Our Daily Bread—a little book that was daily encouragement and inspiration to draw closer to God each day.
In the living room on the coffee table was the largest bible I had ever seen. It was referred to as the “coffee table bible.” I’m not sure if it was placed on the coffee table because it was a family tradition, if it was to be a part of the conversations for those who gathered there, or if it was just too big to be placed anywhere else. It was big, bulky, and not as pleasing to the eye as the attractive bible covers we see today.
An article written in The Washington Post by Peter Holley titled, An Instagram-worthy Bible Aimed at Millennials discussed how the publishing company, Alabaster, had begun placing the New Living Translation of the Bible “inside publications that resemble chic, indie lifestyle and design magazines — like those you might find on your most fashionable friend’s coffee table.”
One of the creators of Alabaster said, “We’ve become a culture that cares about beauty and visual stimulation.” Their slogan is “Beautiful bibles to deepen your experience with God at home.”
We live in a visual culture where everything is communicated in images. It is easy to see how our hearts are connected to our eyes.
In the book, A Visual Theology Guide to the Bible: Seeing and Knowing God’s Word by Tim Challis and Josh Byers, the writers believe that visuals along with scripture combine “to make a unique, powerful, and attractive package” designed to “complement the book’s words, words that ultimately guide your eyes back to scripture.”
What books have you read lately that “guide your eyes back to scripture?”
It is not hard to find a plethora of books, even by Christian writers, that attract us with girl power and self-love messages that promote Christ-less Christianity. Living our best lives is impossible if what we read don’t point us back to Christ. Why? Because the greatest need of every woman is Christlikeness. As wonderful as a good feel book is, it will not bring lasting change to our hearts.
On my nightstand beside my Bible are two books I’m currently reading—Chasing A God You Don’t Want To Catch—by Darren Wilson and Rediscover Jesus—An Invitation—by Matthew Kelly. In this book, the author writes: “Some books find us at just the right time in our lives, and those books change our lives forever.”
I still remember the first two books I read as a new Christian that forever changed my life—Confronting Casual Christianity by Charles Stanley and The Bride Wears Combat Boots by Dotty Schmitt.
In Marshall Segal’s article—What Do You Feed Your Eyes?—he says, “…our eyes will be drawn to what our hearts desire…just because something isn’t inherently bad, doesn’t mean it can’t fill our eyes so full as to crowd out the one that matters most. That’s what darkened eyes are: eyes so full of something other than Christ that they can no longer see him and enjoy him.”
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says “the eye is the lamp of the body.” The bible provides us with a clear visual image of the eye when it is portrayed as “the lamp of the body."
Lamps help us to see what we are doing and help us walk in darkness. Without the nightlight placed near my lamp, it would be difficult at night for me to see how to turn my lamp on.
We have more becoming to do. An eye for Jesus is what we need in a world bent on crowding him out of our view.
I’m Debbie Milton for Becoming More Beautiful, and we’ll leave the light on for you.
Prayer: Jesus, we are only as healthy as what we have our eye on. Your Word says that we become like you when we behold you. Help us to keep in eyesight the things that draw us to you. In Jesus name. Amen.