Give Your Eyes A Break
Main Point: Our world is jam-packed with images and videos that beckon to us for our attention. But Jesus taught that we should protect our eyes very seriously. Maybe it’s time to give our eyes a break.
The Discussion Starter:
Amy Poehler is no stranger to video. She’s been a mainstay on the small screen for more than a decade. She’s best known for her many roles on Saturday Night Live, Arrested Development, and more recently Parks and Recreation. She’s made millions laugh around the world, but through her blog “Ask Amy,” she’s trying to make the world think a little deeper than normal. In the episode (below), Amy answers a young girl’s question about what we should watch and what we shouldn’t watch. As it happened, this video was launched the week of the Boston Marathon bombings so the topic was an emotional one, as evidenced by Amy’s tears.
The Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCrGKy9-7Ss
That’s a captivating video isn’t it…and it’s a little ironic that it’s about other captivating videos. Look, we all feel the need to “keep up” with what’s going on in the world. There’s always a meme to comment on through Facebook or Twitter and there’s always a viral video to watch on YouTube. But Amy asks if it might be time to give our eyes a break because all that we see tends to affect us. That’s a great observation to make…though she’s about 2,000 years behind the One who made that same observation first. Jesus taught that we should protect our eyes very seriously. He knew the consequences of what we choose to look at. Maybe, it’s time to give our eyes a break.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and our favorite online video or viral video.
- ASK A FEW: Have you ever been at school while your friends discuss a video or meme that you haven’t seen? If so, how does that make you feel?
- ASK A FEW: Has there ever been a time when you and your friends were discussing a video or meme or picture that you knew you had no business looking at in the first place, but did anyway? If so, how did that make you feel?
- ASK A FEW: Amy asked, “What should we be looking at and watching these days?” What do you think?
- ASK A FEW: How do you balance “keeping up with the latest news/jokes/videos” and “not hurting yourself or others” with what you look at online?
- ASK A FEW: Amy said her eyes “need a break.” Do yours? Why?
Read the following passage:
Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV)
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
Read the following passage:
Matthew 18:8-9 (NIV)
If your hand or your foot causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
I think it’s always good to hear a celebrity talk about real life, even if we don’t agree with them. But it’s very interesting to hear from them when we share a common value. In the clip we watched of Amy Poehler, she talked about the raw emotions she’s gone through after watching certain things online (and in real life) and how they’ve negatively affected her.
I need to interject one thing here so that I don’t confuse you. Amy Poehler has, at times, been a part of some of the stuff we probably shouldn’t be watching. After all, she’s done lots of TV, interviews, movies, and more…and not all of her stuff has been wholesome.
But in the clip, Poehler talked about the need to “give her eyes a break.” She simply meant that she’s going to use the off switch a little more often and cut out some of the unnecessary and unhealthy parts of her online diet. That’s a good idea for her, no doubt.
And it’s good for you, too.
Jesus talked often about living a holy life and He even connected “what we see” to “how we live.” That’s because Jesus is very wise. Jesus warned us to be careful what we looked at, to be careful what we seek out, to be careful of what we view. And for good reason: some of those things will negatively impact our lives.
His advice to us was rather tough: avoid sin at all costs…even if it means gouging out your eyes! Jesus wasn’t advocating us “actually” poking our eyes out; what He was trying to get across was how important it is to guard what we watch. In other words, “Quit sinning because of the stuff you’re looking at! Cut it out! Give your eyes a break.”
That’s where I want to leave you…with the words of Jesus. Each of us can honestly admit there are things we search for and desire to watch that we have no business seeing. For all those moments, I remind you what Jesus said: don’t do it…even if it means gouging out your eyes. For starters, we should definitely cut out any pornography we watch, rude jokes and videos that are out there, and also, any bullying or hurtful things people say about others. That’s a great way to “give your eyes – and your heart – a break.
Hey, it beats gouging out your eyes!
Close in Prayer
Written by David R Smith
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.