When each of my granddaughters learned to walk, I stood them up, made sure they were steady, took a few steps away, put forth my hands and said, “Come on, come to Grama.” When they kept their gaze upon me, they came quickly into my arms. Before I steadied them to walk to me, I made sure there were no toys or obstacles between us. I didn’t stand them up on a hillside; I placed them on level ground. It made it much easier for them to walk into my outstretched arms. If they tried to turn and walk to their grampa or someone else, they fell every time. Now that they are able to walk on their own, I find it just as important to help keep them watching the pathways before them–to avoid obstacles and things that can trip them or cause them to stumble.
“Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:25-27
We can all get distracted by the lure of the world’s voice. We can get caught up in another’s fight, argument, or battle and take our eyes off the outstretched arms of our Lord. Quickly, before we know it, our sympathies for others can draw opinions and attitudes from us that are unbecoming of followers of Christ. Our focus follows the flesh rather than the Spirit of God. Without meaning to, we allow our hearts to be shadowed with anger, our emotions permeated with irritation and our minds with annoyance. These condemning attitudes take us off the path the Lord wants for us. It darkens our spiritual insight and fractures our ability to discern the true evil in situations. Worse, it stifles the positive we see in others.
Our eyes, our gaze, should always be fixed on Christ–on purity, holiness, goodness, mercy and grace. This viewpoint is not found by focusing on the weaknesses or flaws of others. It is not found in emphasizing the failures of another. Those are obstacles on the “left and right” of our pathway. The view we must ever keep before us is a straight line between our hearts and minds toward Christ. The things we allow to grab our attention away from our Lord and His purpose to bring good to others only take our feet toward evil. We must be unwavering in our walk toward the Savior. We must keep our eyes firmly fixed upon Him as we abide in Him, ever-mindful that what we judge as evil in another can fall back across our pathway at any moment.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, keep us ever seeking Your face. Keep our feet from evil. Give us the fullness of Your Spirit to pour out mercy and love upon the lost, the hurting, the needy.