What are you looking at?
During this devotional I would like to think about what we look at and what we should be looking at, using a passage from 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 – So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
Paul is talking about sight here, and saying what it is we should be looking at, he says as Christians we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen, for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
So what is it that we are looking at? Well, today we look at a lot of stuff, don’t we? We look at the stock ticker, we look at the movies, we look at magazines, and we look at television. And we look at television a lot, don’t we, seven hours a day, according to some experts. And now we also have the internet. We watch on our laptops, our mobile devices and our smart phones. Most of our information about the world, ideas about life, attitudes toward others come from what we see on TV and the internet, but it is still basically entertainment, keeping us amused, keeping us occupied. We certainly seem to live by what can be seen, what we observe day in and out. Some say we are the most visually over-stimulated age in history, which is why we have such difficulty with the invisible, the unseen, the intangible, like our faith, like the biblical faith, like God.
And you know, it’s good that we don’t have to rely on what we see, but on what is unseen. If we had to rely on what we see, it would be awful. What we see around us, what we see on television and the internet is death, greed, tragedy, the pandemic, the unrest and the protests. If we relied on what we see, it can only depress us. So we too need to see what can be, what will be if we have faith, the eternal glory, those promises made to us in the Bible, that is what we can and should rely on, that is what we should be looking at.
There is a wonderful church sign which seems to say this in its own way: “Evenings at 7 in the Parish Hall Monday: Alcoholics Anonymous, Tuesday: Abused Spouses, Wednesday: Eating Disorders, Thursday: Say No To Drugs, Friday: Teen Suicide Watch, Saturday: Soup Kitchen, Sunday sermon 9 a.m. – “Our Joyous Future in Christ.”
Isn’t that a wonderful view of church? Yes we try to help with all that bad stuff we see around us, but we’re not looking at it, we’re looking at what is beyond, we’re looking at what is unseen.
So, what are you looking at? Are you looking at all that can discourage, this temporary stuff, or are you looking forward to those glorious promises of our faith. As Paul says, we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen, for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. What are you looking at?
REV. DALE Brown is the pastor of Cumberland and Guinea Presbyterian Churches. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.