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I learned a new word the other day. Phoropter. I was at the eye doctor and one of my kids was enthralled with an instrument in the room and asked the assistant, “What is that eye thingy called?” Well, it's called a Phoropter, also more commonly known as a refractor. Still not with me? It's the instrument at the eye doctor's office where you look into it and they switch out different lenses and settings and ask you a series of questions: Is it 1 or 2? A or B? Better or about the same? Is this better or is this better?

This Phoropter has the ability to completely change the way you see. Things may be a little blurry in the distance but with one change of a lens you can now read the smallest line of letters on the eye chart. One wrong lens and the eye chart becomes unreadable. The specific lens you are looking through makes all the difference. One very long Friday afternoon at the eye doctor's office started to remind me of…Jesus. Jesus changes how we see everything.

One morning at breakfast I decided to try this illustration out on my kids. I asked them to recount how the Phoropter worked. I then mentioned that this is similar to how the Gospel works in our lives. The Lord not only promises us eternity with him, but the Gospel helps us see through the lens of Christ. We were once blind, unable to understand the glory of the Gospel of Jesus, but now the Lord has graciously opened our eyes. We see everything through a different lens. The Gospel lens. We constantly need the eyes of our heart enlightened (Ephesians 1:18). It takes constant practice to take whatever the world feeds us and make sure we are looking at it through our Gospel lens. We went through a few examples:

  • World: I can’t do it. But, I’ll try harder, and then I can do it.
  • Gospel: I can’t do it and it is good that I realize I can’t do it. I look to Jesus in my weakness and ask him to help me. I can’t do anything without his help, strength, and Spirit (Matthew 5:3, Philippians 4:12-13).


  • World: I can do what I want. I’m in charge of my life and destiny. This will make me happy.
  • Gospel: My life is the Lord’s to use as he pleases. Jesus ransomed me and now I delight to serve him. This is where true joy is found. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Romans 7:14, Proverbs 1:7, Psalm 89:11)


  • World: I live to please myself and consume as much happiness as possible each day.
  • Gospel: I live to please God. This means I die to myself and serve others as Jesus has served me (1 Corinthians 4:10-12).


  • World: Just be a good person.
  • Gospel: Put all of your faith in Jesus Christ and trust in his goodness (1 John 1:7).

My children need my help to view this world through the lens of the Gospel. Parents, your children need your help to see with the correct lens. I too need help to view this world through the lens of the Gospel. Part of our maturity in Christ is that we learn from constant practice and discernment to do just this (Hebrews 5:14). How do we do this? Time in God’s word, commitment to genuinely engage in our church, prayer asking God in humility to transform how we see things so we see with eyes enlightened by the Gospel, and consistent fellowship with other believers where we can talk about how the Gospel is impacting our lives.

The lens we look through changes how we see everything. What lens are you looking through?

Author's Note: Check out the Ridgeview Podcast where we explore how the Gospel transforms our lives.