Mammon and the evil eye…mwahahaha

Last week, my pastor posted on his blog a reminder to protect our eyes

The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!  (Matthew 6:22-23)

The Lamp by Ranil via Flickr

This passage of Scripture has had one of the greatest impacts on my life. And his story has branded an image in my mind of the importance of protecting my spiritual eyes.

Outside of BK’s message, these words of Christ are often used solely to remind us to keep our eyes fixed on the pure and holy.  And many assume only the obvious.  Keeping the eyes away from wicked and evil.  A list of no’s and do not’s.  Steering clear from pornography and such.  This is all very wise, indeed.  

But, we often remove the eye verses from the context of the scriptures above and below.

And, as my friend Cody once advised when discussing this passage with me,

God isn’t attention deficit.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.  (Matthew 6:19-21, 24)

Did Jesus have a moment of being scattered in His thoughts when He warned us to keep our eyes good in the midst of advising where to store treasures?  A short attention span, maybe?  And then getting back on track to return His conversation to the topic of possessions?

Surely not. 

If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.  (Matthew 6:22b)

The Lamp 3 by Ranil via Flickr

Single. 

Unified and clear.

Unrivaled.  Unshared.  Undivided.

Sole vision ushering in soul health.

In union with Christ.  With the Word.  With treasures in heaven.  Devoted to God.

But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.  (Matthew 6:23a KJV)

Evil.

Divided.

Serving another. 

Treasures on earth.

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.

Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  (Matthew 6:24 KJV)

Mammon.

Confidence in wealth.

A filling of selfish gain.

Lust of flesh.   Pride of life.  Lust of eye. 

Worldly riches and the applause of men.

The secular, sensual self in competition with the One True God.

The Lamp 2 by Ranil via Flickr

Jesus puts the ball in our court.

The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.

Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness

If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light. (Luke 11:34-36)

Take heed.  Listen.  And obey. 

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.  (Matthew 6:25 KJV)

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (Matthew 6:31 KJV)

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  (Matthew 6:34 KJV)

Take no consideration.  The thought is readily available.  Waiting to be grasped.  Beckoning a welcome.

Take no thought.

And then, with all the no’s…

A yes.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  (Matthew 6:33)

The take no thought becomes a distant struggle when we seek ye first.

With solitary and purposed vision.

United with God’s sight.

Full of Light.

Single-eye living with an undivided heart laying up treasures in heaven.

About Cristal

Living life fully as the wife of one, a mother of two and follower of The One.
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17 Responses to Mammon and the evil eye…mwahahaha

  1. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

    Someone was just telling me this today. We’re not living for this life, we’re living for the next one. Great post Cristal!

  2. Dicky says:

    Amen! I like these words that you have:
    “Worldly riches and the applause of men. The secular, sensual self in competition with the One True God.”

    Only His Love can fill the hole in our hearts.

    Very nicely written.

  3. Great post. I’d just like to add a couple of points. It always seemed strange to me that there was nothing in the context to tell you why Jesus chose the analogy of light in the eye to be sandwiched between His teachings on laying up treasure and serving God or money. When I found out that He was refering to this verse everything became suddenly clear:

    “Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.” Deuteronomy 15:9

    The Jews seem to have often used the term ‘evil eye,’ ‘good (from the Greek word for generous) eye’ in their thinking. Fits in beautifully, doesn’t it?

    The other thing is the business of “take thought.” If you just look at the English words, you could get the idea that Jesus is saying ignore and neglect the physical needs of life. But we know that can’t be true, since men are to provide for their families [II Timothy 5:8] and Jesus advises us to be like the unjust steward in our money smarts [Luke 16:8,9] and then He continues:

    “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?” Luke 16:10-12

    So, what is Jesus really saying here? The word here means to be anxious, to worry about. As servants of our Heavenly Master, we have a lot of responsibility, but we do not need to be troubled about the future as it isn’t in our hands.

    Start those savings accounts for your kids’ future needs, give sacrificially to missions, get an education, go as a missionary to the jungle, just be sure that you are serving your Lord and Master in every decision.

    • Cristal says:

      Wow! Thank you so much for dropping by and taking the time to share so much insight with us. Yes, the “generous” eye does fit in perfectly. Don’t you love the way the entire bible speaks the same message! And, I appreciate your thought: “we do not need to be troubled about the future as it isn’t in our hands.” That’s exactly what I was hoping someone would see in this post. Live fully for Christ every moment. Again, I am so grateful for your thoughtful and in-depth comments!

  4. Larry Who says:

    One of the first scriptures I learned as a new Christian was Matthew 6:33 because it was a song we sang often with guitar accompaniment. That was almost 27 years ago and only recently has the scripture come alive in me.

    Good post. Thanks.

    • Cristal says:

      Thank you for the comment, Larry. I always appreciate your words. And I can relate to what you’ve written here. I love the way Scriptures “come alive” in different seasons and in different stages. It was the same for me with John 3:16 (and countless others).

  5. April L Lyon says:

    Great reminder.very timely words… thank you!

  6. Desiray says:

    You know last week the Lord convicted me of this worrying thing that we as saints do at times. We justify it at times by saying I am concerned which can lead one into sin which is Idoltary. And so when the Lord told me to stop worrying and keep your focus on me your problems will seem small and useless but if I become so overly concerned I have taken my eyes off of God and directed them to the sin…I want to say thank you for posting this blog…

    • Cristal says:

      You’ve made an excellent point, Desiray. We do mask worries with “concerns” and think we can then sin because we’ve made it look pretty (or less ugly). And, as you’ve said, this certainly leads to idolatry (especially, for me, when it comes to my children). Thank you so much for offering to us those words of wisdom!

  7. He says, She says says:

    Great post, as always, Cristal! And you always have the best titles!!!

  8. Pingback: the holy one and the divided one « power of language blog: partnering with reality by JR Fibonacci

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