The evil eye is a belief within folk religion that someone can look at another person and cause injury, illness, or even death. The superstition of the evil eye was held in ancient Greece and Rome, and it persists in many cultures today.
The evil eye is also called the “envious eye” or the “invidious eye,” because the person casting it is jealous of something. According to the superstition, a resentful person can transmit a curse, wittingly or unwittingly, simply by looking at someone or something in envy. The evil eye is said to bring sickness upon anything from livestock to fruit trees to people. The superstitious attempt to ward off the evil eye with beads, amulets, hand gestures, or sayings.
Some translations of Mark 7:22 include “an evil eye” as one of the sins that begin in the heart (KJV, NKJV, ASV). The Greek is “ophthalmos ponēros” (literally, “evil eye”); however, this is not a reference to anything superstitious. What Jesus is speaking of is a person that is looking to be involved in evil—our modern idiom “looking for trouble” is a good equivalent. Most of today’s translations render the phrase as “envy.”
The believer in Jesus Christ does not need to fear superstition. Yes, Satan is real, but any power he has to hurt God’s children is limited by God Himself (see Job 1–2). Satan has been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:11-15).
Relying on the power of the Holy Spirit and using the Word of God, the believer can have victory over the evil one. That is how Christ defeated Satan and withstood temptation (Matthew 4:1-11). Paul tells the church to be strong in the Lord and use the spiritual armor that God has given us (Ephesians 6:10-20). We do not need good luck charms; we need only faith in Christ. The Bible tells us, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome [the evil spirits in this world], because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
Superstition is fraught with fear, but “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). Those who haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior can be directly influenced by the evil one, and that is why they are fearful and superstitious. When a person receives Christ, he can live in freedom from fear and superstition, for he realizes that Satan is a defeated foe. The believer is loved by God, and God’s love casts out fear (1 John 4:16-18).