Eye-candy. Isn’t that a great word to describe something that is visually attractive? When something appeals to our eyes, it’s like a vision of a sweet, mouth-watering, colorful confection.
It may be tempting to think that eye-candy is a modern creation, fed by advertising and glossy packaging. But there’s nothing new about it. In the New Testament, John talked about it when he listed what comes from the world. “The desire of the eyes,” is how he described it in I John 2. In other words, eye-candy.
I’ve always thought this phrase was a caution against coveting things. I walk down the medina alleys and my eyes are pulled to pretty shoes and scarves, with the simple action/reaction of ‘I see it, I want it’.
But then I came across a thoughtful question about this passage:
“What if the eye-lust described here is the craving for attention and status?”
That gave me pause. I crave what I see with my eyes. But I can also crave that my “I” is seen by the eyes of other people. I want to be the eye-candy.
It’s true. I desire attention as much as I do chocolate. Which is a lot.
This lust for recognition may sound like a paradox for someone who is a self-proclaimed hermit. But I’m also a writer who wants an audience for her work. I want people to read it, followed by a big serving of applause and recognition.
“If writers possess a common temperament, it’s that they tend to be shy egomaniacs;
Publicity is the spotlight they suffer for the recognition they crave.”
I don’t think there’s anything intrinsically wrong with being seen or noticed. In fact, the Bible is generally suspect of people who want to hide like Adam and Eve in the garden, or someone who keeps their light under the table.
But it’s all too easy for me start caring about my reputation. How do I compare to other people? Who is looking at me? What do people think about me? Before long, I’m no longer focused on the One who gave me all the good gifts I have. Instead, I’m keeping the praise for myself and hungry for more. Next thing you know, I’m fudging the truth about who I am so I can appear better to others.
There’s only one antidote for this. I need to glue my eyes on Jesus and let Him transform my sight so I will see like Him: looking at the crowd not to receive adulation but to weep with compassion and feed their hunger with living bread.
But how do I fix my eyes on what is unseen? How do I make God my eye-candy?
I’d say contemplating the vision of God that He gives us in His word is one way. And talking with Him helps me focus the eyes of my heart on what is good and true and beautiful. That’s not an exhaustive list though.
I’d love to hear from you. What do you do to fix your eyes on Jesus? What helps you keep your focus on God?