We need lenses to see. Our natural eye is a lens, a telescope is a lens, and a microscope is also a lens. Lenses allow us to see the beauty of the world we live in. Lenses can also enhance our ability to see farther or smaller than is possible with the naked eye. The most important lens to a disciple of Jesus Christ is the heart.
Jesus spent a great deal of time talking about the heart and the eye in His sermon on the mount. He talks about the level of darkness of the eye (Matthew 6:22) and having a splinter in the eye (Matthew 7:5). It’s clear that Jesus is talking about the lens of the heart. In Ephesians 1:18, Paul says, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people. Paul prayed that the eyes of our heart would be enlightened.”
In other words, while we perceive with our natural eyes, we really see with our hearts. Our minds receive images from our eyes but our heart interprets these images and comes up with a conclusion of what’s real. If our hearts are filled with bitterness, envy, unforgiveness, resentment, jealousy, shame, hurt, defeat, rejection, and other darkness, then we will have a distorted view of reality. What we perceive as truth and what is really truth could be two completely different things.
Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32). Jesus is saying, you will understand what is real and that will free you to live the abundant life I died for you to have. You don’t have to live a life weighed down by the hurts of your past. God wants us to see and understand what truth really is. Truth is the way things really are—not the way we think they are, would like them to be, or wish they were. Truth is reality from God’s point of view and you need clear vision to see the truth.
How can we protect the delicate lens of our heart from scratches that would obstruct our vision?
In Luke 6:37, Jesus says, “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven”. Jesus is teaching us that judging, condemning or failing to forgive others will keep planks being lodged in your eyes and keep you from seeing clearly. Until you get rid of these barriers, your perception of truth will be way off.
Believers must constantly cleanse the lens of their hearts with the Word of God and not just be hearers of the Word, but doers. Jesus calls us to forgive (Matthew 6:15). We are called to be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2). Keeping our heart in the right condition gives us clear visibility of God and His Kingdom.