The Eyes Have It

By Linda Tancs

You’ve no doubt heard the expression “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed,” signifying someone who is alert, lively and eager. It’s a state to which we all should aspire. Even Jesus told His disciples that the lamp of the body is the eye (Matthew 6:22). Indeed, the way that you look at things affects your condition. Do you see things through the prism of light, in a way that reflects positive attributes like love, joy, peace, kindness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)? Or do you see things darkly, with an eye toward malevolence, pride, envy, lust or any number of other characteristics frowned upon scripturally (Colossians 3:5)?

Jesus’s words give us the popular phrase, “the eyes are the window to the soul.” Keep your eyes on God and His ways and you’ll be in great shape.


As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.


Our Better Angels

By Linda Tancs

Human nature pivots between good and evil. Abraham Lincoln recognized that in his first inaugural address, when he appealed to the better, more virtuous instincts of the nation in a time of great strife with his turn of phrase, “the better angels of our nature.” An old Cherokee story relates this conflict between good and evil, wherein a grandfather tells his grandson that two wolves battle within him—one exhibiting things like evil, anger, resentment and ego and the other showing compassion, serenity, hope and faith. When the grandson asks which wolf wins, the grandfather replies, “The one I feed.”

Feed your better angels, and live in the fullness of God (Deuteronomy 30:19).

The Blame Game

By Linda Tancs

In psychology, projection is a theory in which the human ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. In the vernacular, we call it “the blame game.” It’s as old as time. Remember the story of Adam and Eve? Adam confessed to God that he ate the forbidden fruit, only to add that Eve made him do it. Then Eve blamed the whole thing on the serpent (Genesis 3:12-13). And so derives the expression, “the devil made me do it.”

Do you tend to blame others? It’s a widespread problem that starts pretty early; just watch what happens in a schoolyard or in the classroom. The Bible reminds us to always take responsibility for our own actions (see, e.g., Matthew 7:3-5; Proverbs 28:13; Romans 2:1). Submit yourself to God (James 4:7) and above all, don’t blame Him (James 1:13-15).



Guard Your Heart

By Linda Tancs

What’s in your heart right now? Is it love? Compassion? Fear? Hatred? Envy? Anxiety?  If you’re not sure, then listen to what comes out of your mouth. Proverbs 18:21 reminds us that the power of life and death is in the tongue, and out of an abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). If your heart is filled with love and compassion, then your tongue is likely to speak life-affirming words to others—words of encouragement, affection, appreciation and so on. Conversely, if your heart is full of joy-robbing emotions like hatred, anger, resentment, fear or anxiety, then you’re likely to convey negativity to others, especially those closest to you. However, unlike the old Mills Brothers song, you don’t always have to hurt the one you love. Guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23).



Ordinary Heroes

By Linda Tancs

In literature, heroes are often extraordinary, supernatural—they save people, or even the whole world. For us mere mortals, hero status seems implausible or inaccessible except for those special instances that make the news. The reality, though, is that hero status is available to each of us all the time. We’re all capable of being ordinary heroes in everyday life.

Jesus emphasized this point in Luke 10:25-37, a parable about a crime victim who receives compassionate care from a person who was supposed to be his enemy, a Samaritan. Samaria was a capital of the northern kingdom of Israel (which fell to the Assyrians), a rival capital to Jerusalem in Judah. Jews were hostile to Samaritans because they “mixed” (socially and otherwise) with idol-worshipping Assyrians, among other reasons. They were so hated during Jesus’ time that Jews would take the longer route in a journey rather than pass through Samaria for a shorter commute. So imagine a story where the Samaritan gets to play the hero over a God-fearing priest as well as a Levite. The Samaritan saw a need and met it. No exemptions. No exceptions. No excuses. He was a hero to the one whose need was met. Maybe that’s the best way to define a hero.