A Generous Eye


DREAM 2 NIGHTMARE 1Jesus’ parable about the eye as the lamp of the body (Mt. 6:22-24) contrasts a healthy eye with an unhealthy one. The healthy eye illuminates the whole person, he says, whereas (as one commentator puts it) the unhealthy eye creates double vision, making the entire person “full of darkness.”

Double vision – that’s a powerful metaphor. For the churches we belong to and seek to lead, there can be a lot of double vision: confusion about our specific purpose as a congregation or ministry. This is especially true when we have a long history of trying to do everything. The saying fits with Jesus’ next parable, about the inevitable conflict when a slave has two masters at the same time. No matter what our roles in life, we can have only one absolute loyalty.

But I was surprised when I saw William Barclay’s translation of these verses: “So then, if your eye is generous, the whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is grudging, your whole body will be in the dark.”

Now that’s intriguing! It can apply to us personally. Whenever we look upon the world, other people, and ourselves through a generous eye, we can see God’s generous acts, God’s grace, people’s gifts and the giftedness of life. But when we view life grudgingly, we see everything through a jaundiced, jaded perspective.

May you look at life with a generous eye!

Betsy Schwarzentraub


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