January 20, 2010

Visual Accountability

Written by Boyd Bailey

Visual Accountability… “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28

I fight to keep my eyes engaged in images that lead to pure thoughts. Men as a whole struggle around sight with sexual sensations, though women have their own visual challenges related to seeing things they don’t have and wanting them. So Jesus speaks of the allure of lust that comes from obsessing over a woman that is not a man’s wife.

Adultery does not start in the bedroom, but in the heart. If a man’s eye is prone to wander, his heart will follow. It’s an innocent lunch that leads to lust and draws a man or woman into emotional entanglement. Indeed, temptation progresses until it conceives sin. “Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:15). Thus you can stop sin’s encroachment with proactive protection.

David’s lust began when he privately gazed upon a beautiful woman in seclusion. He abused his power by persuading another to compromise her convictions. The more power you have the more you are in need of visual accountability. Who keeps you accountable to keep the portal of your perceptions pure? Like Job, have you made a covenant with your eyes to not look lustfully on another? “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl” (Job 31:1). A covenant requires a commitment to Christ’s standards.

Sometimes it does take extreme measures to not continue down a destructive path. Maybe it means no television for a season, or limited internet access. Give others permission to ask you what magazines or web sites you have been viewing. Mostly make it your passion to love your spouse as God has created them. Accept their love and emotional support, and you will see them as beautiful and appealing. The healthiest marriages never stop romancing and wooing one other. Yes, passionate love precludes alluring lust!

“How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves. How handsome you are, my lover! Oh, how charming! (Song of Solomon 1:15-16a).

Are my eyes an instrument of love or lust? How can I keep in tact visual accountability?

Related Readings: 2 Samuel 11:1-5; Song of Solomon 2:1-17; Matthew 6:22-23

Transformational Living
What did I learn from the Lord in today’s Bible reading? How will I respond?


  1. David Martin says:

    Wow! Talking about hitting someone right between the eyes! (heart really). Don’t know if you are reading this Boyd, but this was my first time to read your daily devotion which I think was definately a God thing. As you wrote, all men struggle with this issue, none more than me. I think God let me read this today as part of my preparation for Jubilee. I wonder sometime when this struggle will end, and I know the answer is never, in this lifetime at least. Please pray for me and Mount Vernon that we would continue to seek God’s will everyday in our lives and keep the junk out of our lives. Thanks, and looking forward to Jubilee.

    Bro. David

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