When I was growing up, there were times when my parents covered my eyes and told me not to look at something. There were other times when I was bored in the backseat of the car, and I would hear my mother say, “Look out your window at that!” I learned early in my life that there are some things my eyes should not look at, and then there are other things that my eyes should look at intentionally. Today I read Psalm 101, and David taught the same thing. In Psalm 101:3 David wrote, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hat the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.”
David knew the reality of the danger of looking in places we should not be looking. After all, it was his trip to the roof of the palace and the view of Bathsheba bathing that started a great deal of trouble for him. While it was innocent enough at first, it started a very quick downward spiral that I am sure David wished a thousand times he could undo. For David and the others living at the time he wrote this psalm, the opportunities for these kinds of temptations were not as accessible as they are for us today. For example, the very laptop I use to type out these devotionals could also be a vehicle to bring pornography into my own kitchen. This verse is a stern, and vivid reminder to me that if we don’t put the wicked things in front of us, that we will be protecting ourselves from possible ruin.
Later in the same chapter, David wrote, “Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me” (Psalm 101:6). While David understood the danger of placing wicked things before his eyes, he also saw the wisdom and protection of looking at the faithful of the land, and bringing them into his inner circle. While there are many things that we ought to cover our eyes from seeing, there are also wonderful, faithful friends who we should be looking at every day. If your friendships involve you being drawn into wicked things and places, you need to get new friends.
Our relationships ought to be filled with righteous people who are attempting to live authentic Christian lives in an ungodly world. While simply not looking at evil does not guarantee that you will not sin in your heart; having godly friends does not guarantee victory in your Christian walk either. But, I will tell you that the more faithful friends you have, the greater your chances will be that you will walk a faithful path. The more you avoid looking at wicked things, the better chance you have of staying away from them. Words of wisdom from David … he’s been there …