DEVOTION FOR MONDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2017
Read Matthew 6: 19-34
Having Good Eyes
In recent decades, neuroscientists have discovered what are called “mirror neurons.” Such neurons fire not only when one performs a certain action but also when one observes someone else performing that action. It is thought that, among other things, mirror neurons predispose us to act in ways we see modeled by others; when we see their acts, neural patterns are forming in our own brains that incline us to act similarly.
The existence of mirror neurons might further illuminate the profound wisdom of Jesus’ observation in Matthew 6:22: “If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” That wisdom is perhaps even more evident in the original Greek of this verse, where the word translated as “healthy” also means “single,” implying that our eyes are to be particularly focused. Verses that follow give examples of things that should not distract our gaze: wealth (v. 24), food and drink (vv. 25–31), and other worries (v. 33). Instead, we are to set our sights on the kingdom of God.
Training our eyes on the kingdom of God—most of all on the love and peace that define that kingdom—is a fundamental way we can cultivate love and peace in our own lives. As they come to the center of our vision, we become capable of mirroring such qualities. Eyes that remain so focused on the kingdom of God thus give light to our bodies and to all our acts.
Philippians 4:8–9 makes a similar point when it encourages us to think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy—adding that the goal is not merely for us to think but to “put it into practice.” May we have healthy and good eyes focused on the Lord!
APPLY THE WORD
Compose two lists, one of distractions away from the kingdom of God and another of things that help you focus on God’s priorities. Perhaps worry about health or finances blinds you from trusting the Lord; pray that He will help you rely on His strength. Maybe listening to Christian music helps to keep your heart sensitive to God; thank Him for that blessing.
Today in the Word is a production of Moody Global Ministries