The second glance: a slow fade from God

A couple of weeks ago my good friend told me about the song “Slow Fade.” She’s heard the song many times, but how all of a sudden, the song just hits home and gave clarity to some events that took place in her life.

I’ve heard the song many times and always, it hits me right in the heart because I lived, live, through that. Since she mentioned the song, I’ve been reflecting a lot on past events in my life. My conclusion: I need to be more conscious of my actions.

The song is reminiscent of the children’s bible song “Oh be careful little eyes [what you see]” and of how I lived my life not following that teaching.

Be careful little eyes what you see

Adults are forever saying you can’t “___________” you’re an adult, that includes seeing certain things. Even as an adult, there are certain things you should never see because once seen, you can never unsee it.

As a young teen, a librarian suggested a book to me. The book contained explicit scenes. I was too young to understand what it meant, but I knew it was something dark, something forbidden. Even in my adulthood, behind my eyes, I could still see the scenes playing. Sometimes it comes out and interferes with my time with God. It caused me a lot of grief because I never want to see it again.

I still remember the clear spring morning I walked to catch a bus to campus. Unwanted images popped up in front of my eyes, freezing my morning in darkness. I couldn’t drive them away. It was more than I could handle. I cried out to God in desperation and it was taken away from me. My thoughts were wiped clean. My eyes saw only the paved path and green grass.

God is good!!!! Oh, so good!

The moment your eyes catch something that you know is forbidden or unpleasing to God, turn your eyes away. Don’t look back, because when you do, you’re likely to get hooked. It’s the second glance that gets you in trouble. If you see more, you have more details, and the devil has more to hold against you. Keep yourself away from unholy sights.

Remember, God is watching you. He has eyes filled with love for you and I know it hurts Him to see you looking at things that will hurt you.

I wished I never read those books the librarian gave me (yes, it was more than one book and I read them all). It took me down a dark path and it’s taken more than ten years to start getting my innocence back. Friends, the first look you get may entice you to keep looking, but knowing it’s wrong, I wholeheartedly ask you to never look again.

Be careful little ears what you hear

The number of times I cussed I can count on one hand. I do not like using profanity and think it showcases a loss of control. I seal my tongue against it.

I am, however, surrounded by people who use it.

I cannot find a show that will not use profanity.

Even the work environment became unprofessional with a slip here and there.

I say I do not mind it much.

The truth is I do. You become who you surround yourself with. So even though I do not speak it, my mind sometimes speaks and out tumbled words I wish I do not know. It is my shame and my worry that one day it will escape my lips.

Maybe it might not be profanity that you hear, it may be secrets that are best left secret from you. Maybe it’s gossip you happen to hear. Whatever the case, if you’re not meant to know it, make sure you do not know it.

Don’t think that you should know it all so you can protect yourself. The Lord our God is watching and loving us. He will surely step in and shield you when you need it. Trust in His love.

Be careful little hands what you do

When I was young and didn’t know any better, my hands caused a lot of pain. I would hit my younger siblings. I thought it was alright because they weren’t obeying me. I thought it was alright because I was beaten when I didn’t obey my parents. I thought it was alright because my siblings were beaten by my parents when they didn’t obey.

It hurts my heart so much to remember how I hurt my siblings in the past. Since I found God, I don’t have the urge to use violence to gain obedience. My voice is stronger; my love proves a better motivation for obedience.

How can I serve God if I do not know how to use my hands lovingly and be gentle with His creation? I regret what I did before I knew Him before He taught me how to be a loving person.

Be careful little feet where you go

I try to pay attention to where I am going. Is where I am going towards God? Or am I walking away from God?

I was studying in London a couple of years ago and was persuaded to go clubbing. I was not one to party or attend clubs, but I decided to join my roommates. What I saw were people who couldn’t have fun without filling themselves with alcohol. The look in their eyes was torturous to me, so lost, and I prayed for them. I was also terrified because I was not prepared for what I saw. I was not built at the time to handle the situation. All I could do was silently pray for the lost souls and for them to find peace in their life.

I knew if I stood by this crew and follow what they do, I would eventually start doing what they were doing. I would be walking away from God and finding joy in alcohol, partying, and dancing with strangers. I would become a shell.

Know your path. Make sure you are always walking towards God so you don’t get lost. Take the time to evaluate where you are in your walk and see if your anchor is still there.

Be careful little mouth what you say

In anger, I’ve spoken words that hurt people. So afraid and needing to protect myself, I said words that put distance between me and the other person. Words that I remember speaking to a fellow Christian: “If you’re so foolish as to willingly die because I don’t like you, then die.” How I regretted those words! Not because he did a foolish thing (thank goodness he did not!), but that I would disregard Christ’s teaching. My words did not bring life, but instead, it was encouraging death (suicide).

I believe that God turned his young heart around so he didn’t do anything foolish. I also believe God protected him for my sake. Should something happen, I would have to live with how carelessly I spoke because I didn’t know what else to do.

God is watching. Make sure what you are saying is pleasing to Him. Let’s bring glory to God by being in control of what we see, hear, touch, go, and say to others. Remain ignorant of ways that bring death, but fill yourself and spread life to all those close to you.

I encourage you to:

  1. Turn away your eyes at first glance
  2. Close your ears at the first sound
  3. Clasp your hands to yourself
  4. Watch your feet’s path
  5. Seal your mouth at the first breath

And turn away at the sight of things outside of Christ’s teaching so that you will always look to God, hear His voice, be gentle, walk towards His light, and speak His word of life.

When I am entering into a space where I feel like I am turning from God, I am reminded of the following verses:

“If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” – Matthew 5:29-30

The verse speaks of adultery, but I say if I am turning from God and the vow I made to follow Him when I was baptized, I am cheating on Him. When I am heading towards a path from God and it seems I have no agency over myself, I would silently cry out:

Take away my sight when I am looking at things that keeps me from the Lord.

Cut off my hands that are doing evil because they keep me from God.

Chop off my ears when they insist on listening to beautiful flatteries instead of truth.

Saw off my feet should they run in the direction opposite to God.

Let me lose my voice when the words I speak dishonors God.

It is not easy to follow God. I chose to follow God and many times I do not follow His way and my heart would cry out against what my mind knows I am doing wrong.

The greatest peace is knowing that through Christ’s blood I can unashamedly return to God and beg for forgiveness, and I know I will be received with mercy, grace, and love.

It’s not easy, friends, to turn away or even discern immediately what is right and what is wrong, but when you know it, turn away fast and hide from it. And there you will be saved.

I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes on sin:

“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” – Genesis 4:7

Let’s conquer sin! And remember to always respond with love.

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