Jump Start # 2421
2 Peter 1:9 “For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.”
Our verse today is a consequence statement. The Holy Spirit is showing what happens when one doesn’t do what they should do. Prior to this, a series of virtues or qualities of the heart are listed. These were to be added by the Christian. They do not fall from Heaven like manna, the moment one becomes a disciple. Each follower of Christ must be busy in his walk with the Lord by adding these things. Some of these are harder than others. They are all connected. Peter begins with faith, the foundation of all that we do in Christ. From faith one adds moral excellence. From that comes knowledge. From that self control. Then perseverance. Godliness follows. Next is kindness. And at the top, is love. Add these things to your life. Let these things describe you. Become these things. Each of us needs these things. Missing one, not only makes us incomplete, but it causes us to suffer on our journey because we are not what we ought to be. These virtues are not to be picked over and chosen like standing in line at a fast food place. “I’ll have knowledge and a bit of kindness, but leave out the perseverance.” Doesn’t work that way.
Our verse, about lacking these qualities, shows us what happens when we don’t add these things to our character and heart. We become blind and forgetful of where we came from. It’s amazing to read about so many blind people in the Gospels. Jesus healed many of them. Today, we may go a long time without ever meeting a blind person. I’ve known two personally in my life. I had a friend in college who was blind. I used to do mean things to him such as rearranging his furniture without telling him. He always knew that it was me who did that. He’d ask me about things and I found it so difficult to describe what I could see with my eyes. We know what red is. We know the difference between red and green. It’s on stop lights. But for someone who has never seen red or green, it’s hard to put that into words. And, there are so many shades of those colors. Look out your window and you’ll see six or seven different kinds of green. Go to a paint store and you’ll be shown hundreds.
Think about spiritual blindness for a moment. Jesus, in describing parables, said blessed were the disciples because they could see with their eyes. Others couldn’t. It wasn’t a medical problem, but a spiritual problem. Jesus warned, if the blind lead the blind, they will both fall in the ditch. Then neither one could help the other.
There are those who declare, “I don’t see anything wrong with it.” And, they don’t. They can’t. They are spiritually blind. You could tell then what is wrong, but they likely wouldn’t get it. It is hard to explain the Bible to a person who is spiritually blind. To them, the Bible is nothing more than an old book. Why are you shaping your life because of some old book—is what runs through the mind of a spiritually blind person.
There is the old story about the blind men feeling different parts of an elephant. One felt the massive leg and declared it was a tree. Another felt the trunk of the elephant and thought it was a snake. One felt the side and thought it was a wall. Each of them were wrong. They didn’t see the big picture of what they felt. They didn’t see everything.
When a person is spiritually blind they don’t see the damage that their words could do. They say things, often offensive and hurtful, but hide behind the idea that “I only told him the truth.” With spiritual vision, we realize that our words can be remembered for a long time. Mean, hateful, and things not thought out can scar a person for a long, long time. Blindness doesn’t see that.
When a person is spiritually blind they overlook the good that even little deeds can do. Jesus said a cup of cold water given to a disciple is remembered by God. Taking a moment to say something or, better yet, to listen to someone. Taking the time to write a few kind words on a card and mailing them to someone. A home cooked meal taken to someone who is having a hard time means so much. Blindness doesn’t see that. “What good is it going to do? I don’t have time to do that. It won’t matter.” That’s how spiritual blindness sees things.
When a person is spiritually blind they do not see all the hours of work that the shepherds do in the church. There are so many conversations. There are so many things done behind the scenes. Failure to see these things will put a person in the position of taking pot shots at the leaders. He will accuse them of not doing anything when they have been very busy doing things. The blind person just never saw what was being done.
It is the spiritually blind that accuses the preacher of only working one day a week. Now, for some that could be true and they ought to be ashamed of that. But for the most part, preachers are working long and hard and doing things that so few realize. The spiritually blind boasts that he could do the preacher’s job until he begins to see all that is involved with it.
The spiritually blind doesn’t treasure the importance of fellowship and the good that comes from each other’s presence. The hugs, handshakes, smiles and words of encouragement lifts weary souls and keeps so many on the journey. For the spiritually blind, friendships with the world are just as good if not better than those in Christ. The spiritually blind finds himself in compromising situations because he is blind to the different directions the world and Christ are going. He doesn’t get it. He can’t get it. He’s blind.
How do I prevent spiritual blindness? It’s right before us in our context today. Add to your faith. Keep growing your faith. Keep using your faith. Keep protecting your faith. And, in this process, your eyes will be opened and you will begin to see things as God does. And, when that happens, our perspective changes, our heart grows and we become more and more like the Lord.
You don’t have to be blind…