Online Attention

Matthew 6:19
Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is
good, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is bad,
your whole body is filled with darkness (vv.22-23).

If you’re reading this devo online, in a few minutes
you might move on to other websites. As you do, pay
attention to what grabs your attention. What pics or
words prompt you to pause for a second look? What
links do you click on, and why?

When Jesus said the eye is the lamp of the body
(Matthew 6:22), He was alluding to the ancient belief
that the eye was an internal fire. Light proceeds from the
eye, interacts with the light emitted from the object of
focus, and then returns through the eye and penetrates
into the heart.

You become like whatever draws your attention. If
your eye is “good,” literally “single” or “simple,” your
commitment to purity and truth will flood your entire
body with light (vv.22-23). But if you play both sides of
the street—if you embrace provocative pictures, rumors,
or vitriol, then your whole body will become shrouded in
darkness. The virtual world can do real damage to your
soul. What items on the Web light up your eyes?

Advertisers use sex, gossip, and greed to create sticky
sites that are difficult to leave. An evil eye will rationalize
hanging around. You know better than to click on that
racy story, but you tell yourself it won’t hurt this once.
And so you awaken the appetite of lust, and now every
time you log on you hope to ogle something new, and
soon your shriveled soul is harboring dark and shameful

Many sites get rich luring people to their destruction, so the most dangerous
thing you can do is mindlessly surf the Web. Take Jesus with you online. When
possible, use the Web in the presence of others. And remember that whatever
lights your eyes can also change you.

—Mike Wittmer

What lessons for using the Web can you draw from Proverbs 7:1?

Are there any websites you should stop visiting? As a whole, does
spending time on the Internet help or hinder your Christian life? Why?