What is unseen is eternal

I love this last statement that Paul makes in 2 Corinthians 4. He is, in essence, using a play on words to make an incredibly important point, I think:

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:18

Paul says that we must fix our eyes on what is unseen. But how is that possible? How do you fix your eyes on that which is unseen? How can we see what we cannot see?

Paul has been talking about the glory of Christ revealed through his disciples. He said that, on the one hand, they carry around the death of Christ in their bodies. These bodies, of course, are the things that are seen.

But Paul goes on afterward to also say that they do this so that the life of Christ would be revealed in those same bodies. Life, though, is a thing that is unseen.

You can’t “see” life. You can see the body. You can see it in motion. You can see it move, speak, and react and those are the effects of life, but that isn’t specifically life. Life is something that is unseen.

And yet Paul says that they are fixing their eyes on the things that are unseen. You see, we spend most of our time thinking and worrying about the things that are seen. What we will eat today. How we will pay our bills. What we will do today. How someone will think about us, and how they will react to us. These are the things that we spend the majority of our time thinking about.

Paul says that, instead of these things, they are fixing their eyes on the things that are unseen. The glory of Christ. Christ living in people all around them. The Kingdom of God at work within them and through them. These are the things upon which he is fixing his gaze.

Why? Because these are the only things that last. All of the things that are seen will go away. They will all be destroyed. Burned up. Gone at some point.

None of those things that we are spending our time, energy, and money worrying about, talking about, nor working toward will last. Only those things that are unseen will be what will last forever.

So we have a choice. Do we fix our eyes on the things that are seen? Or do we fix our eyes on the things that are unseen? Do we work for that which will be gone soon? Or do we work for that which will last forever? Which would you prefer?

Now, which will you do?

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