When you look at the picture on the right do you see a young woman or an old woman? Interestingly enough many can see only one or the other. With practice it is possible to see both but to do so you have to focus your eyes on a neutral area. If you see only the young woman, look at her ear to begin seeing the old woman and if you see only the old woman, look at her eye and you will begin to see the younger woman. Since the 1930’s this picture has been used as a depiction that our worldview or how we see, influences our overall view of things. This is important because how we see shapes our worldview having an effect on the people and situations we come in contact with.
We see according to our expectations which in turn are shaped by the choices we have made in response to those things we have experienced and by the things we have been taught. We are constantly being discipled, either by life, parents, friends or situations we find ourselves in. The struggle that people go through to accurately see a situation as it really occurred is based on a mixture of the above which determines their worldview or how they see.
Years ago a book was written that contained in its pages the story of two boys who one day went out for a walk together. When they came back, a friend asked one of them what he had seen. He said he had seen nothing. He had been traveling through dust and along rough paths, but he had not seen anything beautiful or interesting in all of the two hours’ walk. When the other boy was asked the same question, he replied with much enthusiasm, telling of a hundred beautiful things he had seen in his walk—in the fields and in the woods—flowers and plants and bits of the landscape, birds and squirrels and rippling streams. The two boys had walked together over the same path, and while one had seen nothing to give him pleasure, the other came back with his mind full of lovely images and bright recollections. Both had looked on the same objects, seeing in them the same physical attributes, but they had looked through different lenses.
There are those we meet in life’s journey that either have eyes that see endless possibilities or eyes that struggle to see even a little redeeming value in a situation. If we allow our eyes to be compromised by the sinful desires of the world our eye gates will become defiled. There is however, ways in which we can train our eyes to see people and situations correctly, one way being is to follow the example found in Job 31:1, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.”
I wouldn’t be surprised if years would be added to our lives if we would learn to train ourselves to look for whatsoever things are true, pure and lovely in the people and situations about us, instead of looking for their faults and shortcomings. If we saw through the lenses of love and charity it would change how we view the world and how the world views us.
There are Christians however, who still struggle through life dealing with issues that should have been taken to the cross years ago and through repentance received the healing and freedom that God so graciously gives. Those who rebel against the Lordship of God will weaken their defenses against evil. Refusal to follow his precepts, in any area of our lives including unforgiveness allows a crack in our armor that gives the enemy access to harass and torment those who seek to serve God. Our Father is more than willing to bring healing to our wounds and freedom to our captivity.
We become what we feed on. The messages we deliver to our mind create the reality we live in. How else can two people listen to the same conversation and come away with differing recollections of what really transpired. People who have witnessed a car accident can come away with differing accounts of what happened and witnesses to a robbery have described the perpetrator so differently that nothing they described matches what others are saying. It is not that they are intentionally being deceptive but past situations which impacted them either positively or negatively mixed with the true or false narrative they have been taught has subconsciously shaped their ability to discern what is real and truthful.
Attaining and Keeping a Godly Worldview
Lets look for a moment at the picture of the man on the left. With hardly any effort we can easily see him looking not only directly at us but also we can see the right profile of his face. This should give us a clearer understanding of just how easily our eyes can affect how we see and how we view reality.
Since birth our hearts and our allegiance was tied to this worlds value system, causing the way we see, hear and how we view life to be faulty. In 1 John 2:15-17 we read, “For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”
When we asked Jesus to come into our life as Lord and King, we gave Him our lives and in return became ‘born again’, passing from this world’s system into a kingdom ruled by Godly values which gives us a new worldview. In John 3:4-6 it says “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”
If we fail to enter fully into the kingdom of God and strive to make all of God’s values our values our worldview will still be distorted as we try to mix the world’s values and God’s values together. Each of us need to consistently train our eyes to see correctly by focusing on Jesus and “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”. Philippians 4:8.
We pray that our spiritual sight will become transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit so that our values and motivation come not from this world but from the heart of our Father in Heaven.