If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:1-2
When I was small I was taught a song, “Oh be careful little eyes what you see.” Perhaps you were too. In our adult lives, we see many things. We see people in all circumstances at the workplace. I see a disheveled, tired-looking man waxing the floors when I leave. I see the president of the firm returning from lunch in a limo. I see well-dressed professionals with impressive credentials hurrying up and down the hallways.
Media allows us to see much more. I can see news from all over the world, and entertainment and documentaries from every part of society and even across history. I can see people experiencing opulence and those living in abject poverty.
It’s not really a question of what we see though is it? It’s really about how we let it impact us. As our verses for today say, it is about where our affections are.
If we see a violent man and admire him for how he is able to get things done or how no one gives him trouble, our affections have followed our eyes to a dangerous place. If we see a glamorous media star whose sexualized product makes her popular and we envy the attention she receives, that is when our eyes have led our affections astray.
What we see can fire our imaginations of how we are to live. When we see someone exhibiting traits we might know to be sinful but have results we want, that invites us to imitate those people and their undesirable traits.
Years ago my family and I were staying in a convent in Rome. Every room had a crucifix on the wall. My young son was a little freaked out by it but his sisters explained to him that children who grow up in that tradition found it comforting and instructive. Jesus before our eyes invites Jesus into our affections.
Maybe you need a crucifix on your wall and maybe you don’t. But the message of the cross is that our way forward is the way of self-sacrifice, love, submission to the will of God, and trust in the Christ who saved us all. Whatever else we see, let’s keep our eyes fixed on the traits we know are good for us – the traits of Christ.