Mankind today is tempted in a way that is similar to what was used in the case of Eve, the disobedient angels, and Achan. Of all the “designs” used by Satan to mislead mankind, the appeal to “the desire of the eyes” is most powerful. (2 Cor. 2:11; 1 John 2:16) Modern commercial advertisers well know the age-old power of eye appeal. “Sight is the most seductive sense of all,” states a leading European marketing expert. “It often overrules the other senses, and has the power to persuade us against all logic.”
No wonder advertisers bombard us with images that are cleverly designed to make the greatest visual impact and stimulate desire for their goods or services! A researcher in the United States who studied how advertising influences individuals stated that it is “designed not just to convey cognitive information, but more importantly, to produce particular emotive and effectual responses.” Provocative sexual imagery is one form that is often used. “Sex sells” is a well-known adage. How important it is, then, that we control what we look at and what we allow to enter into our mind and heart!
True Christians are not immune to the desire of the eyes and of the flesh. Therefore, God’s Word encourages us to exercise self-discipline in connection with what we look at and long for. (1 Cor. 9:25, 27; read 1 John 2:15-17.) The upright man Job was one who recognized the strong link between seeing and desiring. He stated: “A covenant I have concluded with my eyes. So how could I show myself attentive to a virgin?” (Job 31:1) Not only did Job refuse to touch a woman in an immoral way but he would not even allow his mind to entertain such a thought. Jesus emphasized that the mind must be kept clean of immoral thoughts when he said: “Everyone that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”