Optics

The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.

1 Peter 3:12 (NLT)

There is a word that has come into fashion within the past decade. It is used in corporate boardrooms, government offices, non-profit planning, politics, and in just about any place where business strategy is conducted. The word is “optics.” The word optics actually represents a question: “How will what we are about to do be perceived by the outside world?” In other words, “How many people will get ticked off about this?” So, businesses conduct surveys to see. They call, email, or ask people on the street their opinions of proposed products, theories, or proposals. Once they have a good sample size, they report back whether the proposed business strategy will meet acceptance or doom. If it’s acceptance, they move forward with the concept. If they believe it will meet resistance, they generally kill the concept. It’s considered good business practice. We wouldn’t want to upset people.

Here’s the problem. Optics has begun to creep its way into our churches. We become more concerned with what other people might think than doing what is right. We wouldn’t want to get a bad reputation after all! But, let me ask this question: Since when did the church become a business?

Over and over and over again, Scripture calls us to always do what is good and right. The Bible defines these things, and specific situations that are not defined can be ascertained through the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. The only optic we need to be concerned with is if we are doing what God is asking us to do, regardless of how it may play out among the public, our benefactors, or even many of the church membership. As our verse today says, “The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right…” When we serve God and do what is right, we trust Him with the results. We may meet resistance, but it’s actually part of being a Christian.

Let’s put this into the proper perspective. If Jesus and His disciples were worried about optics, we would have no hope in a salvation, in a right relationship with God, or any semblance of a church. People hated their message and what they stood for, yet they carried on doing what was right. But, the Lord blessed them, and us, as a result.

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