The Impact of Images

by Ricky Chelette

“I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.” – Psalms 101:3a, 4

We live in a very visual world. In the course of a day we are bombarded by thousands of images from every conceivable direction: our phones, TV, ads, cars, GPS, even our appliances now come equipped with images reminding us to buy more.

Snapchat reports that its one app sends 700 million pictures and videos per day to their users. Marketing researchers say that we may see as many as15,000 advertisements in a single day. And Facebook receives uploads of 350 million photos per day. But how do those images impact our lives?

In a word, I think the answer is perception. The images we view change the perception we have of our lives, our families, our friends, our world, and ourselves.

The psalmist makes a commitment to God to not allow his eyes to be filled with things that are worthless and to keep his heart/mind from the knowledge of evil. The world of the psalmist is certainly not the world that you and I live in today. There are many things we see and know that we didn’t choose. But I am afraid there are far too many choices that you and I make to indulge in things that are worthless, and at its worst, even dangerous. Over time, those things that once were offensive now become common, acceptable, and “ordinary.”

Far too often we choose to engage in viewing things that degrade the very image of God in men/women by making them objects of our pleasure. God’s creation, His people, were not made to be leered at, objectified, or captured for our pleasures. People are created to reflect the glory of God on earth and designed to be treasured in real, personal, relationships. When we objectify people, we remove relationship, and make what is real, relative and meaningless.

Job 31:1 says that he “made a covenant with his eyes.” The psalmist seems to encourage you and I to do the same. Think about the things you see on a daily basis. Are those images moving you closer to God or farther away from Him?