“I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman? For what is the allotment of God from above, and the inheritance of the Almighty from on high? Is it not destruction for the wicked, and disaster for the workers of iniquity? Does He not see my ways, and count all my steps?” (Job 31:1-4)
Job’s Mental Purity
At this point in the book, Job was in the final stages of the dialogue with his friends concerning the tragedies that had befallen him. They believed that he had committed some terrible sin and was being punished consequently. Job maintained his integrity; he affirmed his mental purity.
He had made a covenant or agreement with his eyes that he would not lust after young women. He knew that to lust was sinful and that the Lord would punish such. Job realized that God knows and sees all things–even into our minds!
Job tried to be upright in everything, including his thoughts. Although other humans would not necessarily know if Job was lusting after a woman, God would be aware of the illicit thoughts!
Job was certainly wise beyond his time in his efforts to abstain from lustful thinking. He took it upon himself to adopt a high standard of morality. God expects all of his children to live by this standard today, as Jesus communicated in Matthew 5:28 – “Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Make a Covenant with Your Eyes
Let me strongly encourage you to make a covenant with your eyes as Job did. Promise yourself that you will set nothing wicked before your eyes (cf. Psalm 101:3). Decide that you will be selective about what you allow your eyes to rest upon.
I have no doubt that it is much harder to keep faithfully a covenant with one’s eyes today than it would have been in Job’s day. Job may have had to deal with women dressed immodestly, but that was probably about the extent of it.
He did not have to deal with the temptations that those living in the twenty-first century are assaulted with repeatedly–commercials that use sex appeal to sell a product, television programs with immodestly dressed actors and actresses, movies that show partial or full nudity, not to mention pornographic magazines, video, websites, etc.
The Need for Self-Control
Making a covenant with one’s eyes should start with the understanding that we are in control of our actions, which includes what we gaze upon. If an illicit picture or immodestly dressed person comes into our line of sight, no matter where we are, we can (and should) choose to turn away and think about something else.
To the best of our ability, we should avoid situations where keeping the covenant with our eyes would be difficult. Turn off movies or TV shows that are inappropriate. Delete e-mail invitations to visit pornographic sites. You are in control of your behavior. Don’t allow the lust of the eyes to control (and ruin) your life (cf. 1 John 2:16, 17).
The notion of making a covenant with one’s eyes may seem trivial to some. Perhaps they believe that what they ingest through their eyes won’t hurt them. Those who think this way are deceived. As Jesus declared – “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness…” (Matthew 6:22, 23).
Our eyes are input devices. If we input that which is pure, the output (which is manifested via our words and deeds) will likewise be pure. If we input that which is illicit, the output will likewise be illicit.
Have you made a covenant with your eyes? Are you doing your best not to place anything improper or immoral in front of them? Do you turn away when you do see that which is illicit, and resolve to avoid seeing such again?
Since God made your eyes, certainly He can dictate what you should and shouldn’t use them for. He wants you to use your eyesight for good, not evil purposes; He wants you to intake images that are pure.
It is not possible to keep lustful eyes a secret from everyone. God sees all the things that you choose to see. He’s watching you, so be mindful of what you allow your eyes to rest upon.