Spiritual blindness seems quite an extreme idea. Somehow we are quick to toss away that idea. If we know God, we are not spiritually blind, right? Not so fast. Look again. This is not an either/or matter. We are not either spiritually blind or have a 20/20 vision. We can also be spiritually shortsighted. What to do then? How can we ensure that we are not spiritually shortsighted?
First of all we need to remember that it’s not about us perfecting ourselves but letting God’s grace change us along the way. Jesus has paved the way and we can become like him by embracing the actions and promises of God. But becoming Christ-like is not a passive affair either. What can we do then?
Simon Peter gives us some advice in the first chapter of his second letter. Whomever lacks these qualities, he tells us, is spiritually blind or shortsighted. So let’s take note of these qualities and try to implement them into our faith life.
5 For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in [exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence),
6 And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety),
7 And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.
8 For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the [full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
9 For whoever lacks these qualities is blind, [spiritually] shortsighted, seeing only what is near to him, and has become oblivious [to the fact] that he was cleansed from his old sins. (2 Peter 1:5-9, AMP)
We are called to employ every effort in supporting our basic faith with these qualities. The Message translations lists them this way: good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love. These are all qualities grounded solely in the grace of God.
Somehow the list seems like too tall an order. This sure drives us to the cross. But that is the best place to start anyway. Because we can’t grow in faith without grace. And there’s no grace without the cross.
But when you abide in Christ and diligently seek God, these qualities will increasingly abound in you. Then you will not be spiritually shortsighted. And you will revel in God’s goodness all the days of your life.
Open our spiritual eyes to see as you see.
Open our hearts to feel what you feel.
Guide us to employ every effort to support our faith.
Enable us to grow in grace and become more like you.
May we ooze your love and grace to others.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Do you need spiritual vision aids? How has God’s grace enables you to see well?