hugh’s news & Views
Nearsightedness is the inability to see clearly at a distance. The medical/technical name for it is myopia. During the fall term of my sophomore year of college I discovered that I had a vision problem. When I went home for the Christmas holidays I had my eyes tested, was diagnosed as having myopia, and began wearing glasses to correct my vision. From then until now my glasses have been my constant companion.
Over the last few years I gradually developed cataracts. In time, they became bad enough to affect my night vision. Recently, I underwent cataract surgery, getting a lens implant in each eye. As a result of this “miracle” of modern medical technology, my distance vision has been remarkably improved, so much so that there is the good prospect that I will only have to wear glasses for reading purposes and perhaps for some intermediate vision challenges. I can now drive, watch television, and engage in other routine activities without glasses. This past Sunday morning, for the first time in 40 years or more, I was able to shave without having on my glasses! I look “funny” to myself in the mirror without my glasses on, but then there are those who think I have always looked “funny.”
The apostle Peter spoke of some Christians who were failing to develop those graces necessary to becoming spiritually mature. He described the individual as being “blind, cannot see afar off, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins” (II Peter 1:9). They had developed spiritual myopia!
Spiritual nearsightedness is manifested in a variety of ways today. The alcoholic had no intention of becoming such when she took that first alluring social drink or he went out that first time with the boys after work for a beer. Had she or he been able to see the end result of that first step in the wrong direction they likely never would have taken that step.
The drug addict had no intention of becoming an addict when he smoked his first joint or took that first little pill to help him “relax a little bit.” No, he didn’t intend to become an addict, he just wanted to “feel good.” But the failure to see the end results of such behavior is spiritual nearsightedness.
The flirtatious behavior or the one night fling while out of town on a business trip was never intended to result in the breakup of one’s marriage and the loss of one’s family, but such is another example of spiritual nearsightedness.
In the Old Testament we read of Lot, the nephew of Abraham, who at first “pitched his tent toward Sodom” (Genesis 13:12), only eventually to wind up living in the middle of Sodom. Talk about a classic case of spiritual myopia! Truth be told, all of us in various ways have been guilty of mental and spiritual nearsightedness by things we have said, done, and failed to do, and where personal relationships are concerned.
In the New Testament we are warned, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). Only our spiritual nearsightedness keeps us from seeing the truthfulness of that statement. Clearly, Solomon was right when he wrote, “Do not be wise in your own eyes” (Proverbs 3:7), and later when he said, “The way of a fool is wise in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise” (12:15).
As Jesus made His final journey to Jerusalem where He would be tried and crucified, He encountered two blind men sitting by the road. They cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!” Jesus stopped and asked them, “What do you want me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Lord, we want our eyes opened” (Matthew 20:29-34).
There are literally millions of people today who are spiritually blind or spiritually nearsighted. Only Christ can open their eyes and give them clear vision. Do any of us need the Savior’s eye surgery?
February 5, 2013