*This is the first in a two-part series on being changed. Next week we’ll talk about how by listening, we are changed.
Seems like our eyes are always glued to something! Even in our dreams, it’s like we’re at the movies, with a story playing out in our unconscious state.
If we took stock of what our eyes give priority, we would be surprised by how much our world view and value system are determined by what we look at.
Let’s face it: we are voracious media consumers. We feed on a smorgasbord of images, opinions, facts, jokes, gossip, and infotainment 24/7. I’m fascinated by the amount of information that is out there and how it influences how I work, think, and process life. My parents’ generation was less so; my grandparents … hey, books and radio were just about it for them.
Consider also the level of violence, sex, and twistedness in movies, on TV, in video games, and on the Internet. A generation is being changed and is, in some ways, desensitized by what is now considered acceptable, compared to 30 or 20 years ago.
What are we beholding is, indeed, changing us. To a certain degree, we are what we see.
I mulled over 2 Corinthians 3:18 in the Common English Bible: “All of us are looking with unveiled faces at the glory of the Lord as if we were looking in a mirror. We are being transformed into that same image from one degree of glory to the next degree of glory.”
I should be changed by beholding God in my daily life. I should reflect Him and His character.
But what does that transformation look like?
I always revert to the role of the mind. If we aren’t thinking right, we won’t be viewing right.
The Message Bible brings it home perfectly in Romans 12:2:
“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
I truly believe that if you have an encounter with Jesus Christ, you have no choice but to be changed, much as the apostle Paul’s life was totally switched up after what happened on the Damascus Road. We’re called to behold the living God and to make a U-turn, a spiritual sea change. The power of that vision of the One “whose face shines like the sun” has to spill over into all of our life choices.
If what we behold is not changing us in a positive way, it is pulling us away from the One we should be beholding every day. And for true believers, that should never be an option.
What has changed you as you beheld it, for better or for worse? And what are you trying to behold even more?