Read Psalm 101
Focus on verses 3
We live in an age where it is possible to talk on an iPhone, play games and draw pictures and take notes on an iPad, listen to music on an iPod, and work on a computer called an iMac. When Apple Company coined the “i” line of devices I wonder if they knew how successfully it would resonate with the “me” centered nature of our culture. It is interesting how many of these “i” devices captivate our eyes, which leads to captivating our wallet, which reveals what has captivated our hearts.
In today’s reading King David writes, “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.” I think it might be safe to assume that King David did not spend a lot of time looking through the worthless stuff that appears on Facebook on his iPad. Please don’t misunderstand, if this kind of technology had been available in David’s time, I suspect he would have used it…he might even have had a royal family Facebook on which to post pictures of his children and grandchildren along with descriptions of the victories God had given Israel. He might have built a special page on which to post the Psalms he wrote and made recordings of the songs he sang and played on his harp available for download on iTunes. Apparently, however, by the time he wrote Psalm 101 he had learned that what he saw affected what he thought, which affected what he did. It is the principle of “if you keep putting garbage in – eventually garbage will come out”, so he took the advice of Job who, “made a covenant with his eyes” (Job 31:1) not to look upon worthless things.
Interestingly this principle is in keeping with what many of the success teachers in the business world teach. If you want to succeed in attaining the goal you have set, you have to keep you eyes focused on the goal. We tend to move toward that which we focus our eyes upon. If we focus on worthless things, we more toward achieving worthless things; if we focus on worthwhile things, we more toward achieving worthwhile things. The college student that allows his focus to drift to socializing and video gaming rather than studying for his or her exams will not achieve the same level of success as the student who focuses fully on their studies. Its not that the video games are bad (okay, I will concede that some games are truly just bad) it is, however, the misplaced focus that causes him or her to drift from pursuing the goal. Interestingly, it is through our eyes that we are most often initially distracted. When we allow the majority of what goes in the eye gate to be worthless stuff…then we should not be surprised when we find ourselves accomplishing mostly worthless things. It would seem then that Job and David had it right when they made a point of limiting what they allowed their eyes to see. They protected the eye gate.
So, what are the things that are most worthwhile that we should be focusing on? (I thought you’d never ask!) For this answer we go to verse one; “I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to You, O Lord, I will make music. I will ponder the way that is blameless.” (Psalm 101:1-2a)
If we ponder the way that is blameless by keeping our focus on Christ and pursue becoming like Him, we have set our eyes on what is worth more than anything this world has to offer us. Everything physical in the world as we know it will eventually pass away. What remains will be the spiritual connection we have with God through Jesus Christ. If that is not there…we are chasing after worthless things, and in the end we will be lost along with them.