With all the challenges of life and the negativity of a dark and dying world, it’s not difficult to adopt a mental state of cynicism, or even allow these current events to condition our minds toward a negative attitude. The Lord puts the simple choice before us in Deuteronomy 11:27-28, “A blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God…And a curse, if you will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God…” As Christ said that if you love him, you will follow his commandments, and he came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. But you see, a lot of it depends on our attitudes toward that life. We can’t let life get us down and have life more abundantly.
God gives us the path that leads to blessing, and also the path that leads to the curse. As disciples of Christ, there is a personal responsibility to “choose life!” and walk it out in our own lives. Each of us is to see personally that our choice resulting in blessing or cursing affects others in our lives. We are as Christ said in Matthew 5:14 “the light of the world” and in verse 16 to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” If we allow ourselves to be influenced negatively and view our life in the world as such, how then can we let our light so shine? Will it be a blessing or a curse to not only ourselves, but also to others who engage with us?
We also are directed to look on others in compassion. Deuteronomy 15:9 says, “Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart…and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cries to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin.” There is an imperative here urging us to be careful how we think, our thoughts affect our hearts, and that, in turn, affects our choices and actions. Cynical thoughts are a symptom of a hardened heart that has trouble feeling sympathy for others. It’s one thing to be realistic and assess events in facts and in truth. It’s yet another to look at everything in a negative light because as a person thinks, he is and does.
Our eyes truly are a mirror to the soul, what we choose to “see,” has everything to do with God’s favor. Proverbs 11:27 says, “Whoever diligently seeks good procures favor, but evil comes to him who searches for it.” The person who seeks good in Hebrew is called “the shocher tov,” a “seeker of good,” who uses the “good eye” to see the needs and pains of others in love and compassion. Just as God had given the Israelites a momentous choice of the path to become a holy and blessed nation, we also have a choice to choose the path of our lives as well. What does your eye “see,” the blessings or the curses? For what your eye sees and your heart receives, you will be. It’s your choice. Choose wisely that you may have life and have it more abundantly.