Daily D – Matthew 5:27-28
Matthew 5:27, 28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (NIV)
Travel exposes you to all kinds of people. There are different kinds of travelers. There are those who are travel professionals. They know precisely where to go and what to do. They move with ease through the rituals and routines of airports.
Then there are those who are rank amateurs. Proper identification and when and how to present it are mysteries to them. What to pack, and more importantly, what to leave home is an issue they have not put much thought into.
Thank You, TSA
The amateurs are always looking up at signs, wandering in the middle of foot and cart traffic, and standing in long lines at Starbucks and McDonald’s. Or they bring their own meals like some people from another continent whose baggage smelled like dead fish. The poor TSA officer had to make them throw away the fish they brought with them for a meal on the plane.
We do not pay TSA officers nearly enough, and I have no idea how much they are paid.
Some months back, a man on the same flight as me had a towel draped around his neck. This was all he had on above the waist. He was older than me, so I’m guessing this was not a fashion statement. Maybe he arrived straight from swimming with his grandchildren.
Arriving at my gate yesterday, a woman nearly ran into me. She is undoubtedly a celebrity of some sort. She boarded earlier than me and I was in Group 3. How can I tell you the rest of the story?
Look Away, Look Away, Look Away
When she nearly bumped into me, I noticed a tattoo strategically placed just below my eye level. There was a lot of skin, and not much restraint, on display. This was a woman at ease with being viewed. Remember the guy with the towel? She didn’t have on a whole lot more than him.
No, I do not know what the tattoo was.
I turned away as quickly as possible. It was fun watching everyone else in the crowded boarding area as she made her way to the front of the line. Everyone noticed our traveling companion. Some looked on longer than others. Some glanced up and then away and played Sneak a Peek for a while. A group of four coworkers with one woman among them enjoyed a spirited conversation. The woman turned her back to the celebrity.
I was so pleased the celebrity was not sitting near me. Instead, an old friend ended up in the same row as me. It was good to turn the conversation to our grandchildren.
The issue at hand is not who she was. I have no idea. The issue is not her profession. I have some ideas about that. The issue was not her fashion statement. I do not want to talk about that. The issue is what you and I do in such a situation.
There are some things you cannot help seeing. You don’t go looking for those things, but moments like yesterday happen. I find it wise to look at a person’s eyes when so much more is on display. Hers were blue.
Choose What You See and What You Think
While we cannot unsee certain things, we can choose not to re-see them. We can also choose to fill our eyes and thoughts with other sights and ideas. You may have guessed, not everyone in the boarding area took Jesus’ advice.
This is one of those issues we settle before we encounter moments like yesterday. Make up your mind now how you will respond when presented with . . . you know. Look at the eyes. Look away. Watch other people. Thank God for creating beauty and physical attraction. Thank God for the ones you love and are committed to most deeply.
Turning your thoughts to God and your loved ones resets our hearts and minds.
I will turn my thoughts to God and my loved ones when confronted with more than I need to see.
Our Father, thank you for your words of truth and life. Thank you for providing dashboard gauges in our hearts and minds to warn us away from danger. Thank you for giving us loved ones to turn our thoughts to in moments of distraction. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”