We all know that depending upon how you look at something makes a big difference in what you see and your resulting attitude. The proverbial “glass half empty or half full” illustrates how one can be successful where another can fail even with the same opportunity and ability.
This maxim applies very well to material vs spiritual sight. Everything may look the same, but a material view has no place for God, and therefore as enticing as it may seem, is attracted to destructive tendencies, fear, limitation, sensuality, self-righteousness, and ultimately moral idiocy. The spiritual view is profoundly positive, regarding a good God as ever-present, the only Cause and Creator. It carries with it humility, and watchfulness, for it detects and is repulsed by the unGodlike, and thus is protected against its hypnotic influence.
Every sort of addiction is the result of a material view, looking away from God, defenseless, as it reaches out for satisfaction, whether through food, drugs, sex, money, or power. The spiritual view is expressed beautifully in Psalm 42:
“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”
As I understand it, this is what Jesus' rebuke of the Pharisees and Sadducees in Matthew 16 was all about:
1 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.
2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
Jesus' message to them was, because of your materialism, your refusal to acknowledge God outside of the formality of your religion, you would not recognize a sign from heaven when it came to you.