She still takes the newspaper but must use a magnifying glass to read the words.
Night blindness for her is real. And day blindness has become her new normal.
She tells me it’s not pleasant to look upon a grey, blurry world out of bleary eyes.
And I empathize with her.
Yet as I consider the notion of blindness, I realize that for us as believers, spiritual blindness can overtake us in a subtle way. It can cause us to see the world about us indistinctly. It can make falling far easier and an understanding of God’s truth less likely.
For many with developing eye problems, cataract surgery brings hope of restored vision. For the Christian, correct biblical thinking clarifies truth, bringing the world back into sharp perspective and correcting the blurriness of life.
Second Peter 1:9 tells us that we are blind if we fail to add to our faith any number of things. ("But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.") What are those things? Faith. Virtue. Knowledge. Temperance. Patience. Godliness. Brotherly kindness. Charity. As I look at that list, I am reminded that each of these can be categorized as traits of the spirit.
While the evils of the world, multiplied together, make up for a weight of sin that crushes the heart of Jesus, my own sin grieves God’s Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30) and breaks my fellowship with God (I John 1:6).
It is that sin for which Christ died—a cost I would have to pay had I not been redeemed. It is that sin from which I have been set free! And while that sin at one time barred my entrance to Heaven, it is Christ’s grace that can keep me from falling every day.
When any of us for one moment lose perspective on sin, we fail to figure in the great cost of our own sin being the most impossible debt we would have had to pay, had we not embraced the free Gift of Christ. We fail to wonder at the amazing sacrifice Christ paid in blood, on our behalf. We fail to recognize that the evil within trumps the evil of any circumstance anywhere outside us. We forget we were purged from sins and that each sin stands contrary to the 2 Peter 1 qualities, the 1 Corinthians 13 qualities. The Matthew 5 qualities. Unbelief. Embracing what's not the best. Lack of spiritual understanding. Indulgence. Frustration in trials. Ungodliness. Unkindness. Lack of biblical love.
And so we embrace blindness. Having failed to diligently add those 2 Peter qualities, we embrace a counterfeit of our soul's enemy. One lie argues, “If only my circumstances were different, I would be different.” We think that it is really some difficult person or situation with which we are dealing that would need to change in order for us to change.
The evils about us can grieve us on the inside, pushing us to the throne of Grace to intercede on the behalf of others. Wrong choices of others can burrow down deep as we ponder a life thrown away, living in selfish indulgence of sin. We can wonder at others’ choices to walk a pathway that is far from God’s. In fact, we can become so lost in the labyrinth of others’ needs that we fail to reckon that—no matter how hard we try to help others, if we for one moment fail to embrace the utter evil within and our own need to continually access God’s grace at all times with every person and in every situation—we have lost perspective. The perspective of the overwhelming gift of grace and our utter need for it. Clarity.
We can’t see where we’re going. And we can easily trip, fall, and lose our way.