Heart focus may sound odd given that we see through our eyes. However, what affects our lives the most is not where we have our focus at any given moment so much as how we are looking. That is, the factors that are adjusting our focus. What we see depends both on what we see and how we see. This is why Jesus highlights the importance of how we look.
Matthew 6:22–23 (NKJV)
22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
The above verses, like any others, have a context. Jesus message here and in the broader passage is about our heart focus. The word ‘good’ is translated as ‘healthy in the ESV and ‘clear’ in the NASB but the literal meaning of the Greek word haplous is ‘single,’ as in being focused on one thing. This is how the KJV translates the word and captures the meaning. In the preceding verse Jesus addressed our focus by referring to our heart and later He connects it to pursuing two things, God’s kingdom and His righteousness.
Matthew 6:21 (NKJV)
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
From these verses and their context, we should arrive at the idea that Jesus thinks our focus is important. That what affects our seeing is what our heart is treasuring. We can ‘see’ this by reflecting on many different gospel examples. Think of how the religious leaders saw the poor and broken as sinners deserving of their status while Jesus saw them as broken and lost and needing compassion and salvation. They saw the same people but they looked through different hearts. Jesus even had to rebuke His followers at times for holding wrong heart attitudes that affected their seeing.
So, let us get to the ‘how’ of what Jesus is instructing. Adjusting our focus by adjusting our heart attitudes. If we familiar with how a laser works, we know it is concentrated light. Its effectiveness comes from a intense concentrated focus. In a similar manner our spiritual effectiveness comes from developing a concentrated focus. What enables us to develop and maintain a single heart focus is intentionally shaping our heart attitude. Paul put it this way.
Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.
When we choose to intentionally and habitually focus on the true, noble, just, pure, lovely, good and virtuous we develop hearts that sees as Jesus sees. Our eye is good and our body is full our light. Our heart focus is on what He values and we walk in agreement with the kingdom of God.