“For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins” (2 Peter 1:9).
The year was 1962. It was a time in which my life was forever changed. I was in second grade at the George R. Hamilton Elementary School in Lincoln Park, MI. and a problem arose. I began having difficulty seeing the blackboard. The solution: glasses.
To this day I am extremely nearsighted. Clear vision without any glasses, or contact lenses, is about a couple of inches from my face. No exaggeration. I am fortunate that I am able to wear daily, disposable contact lenses which provide greater convenience and vision ability.
I cannot begin to count the number of glasses I have broken over the years. It always seemed that I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. My parents were most patient regarding this. Well, most of the time anyway.
You may be wondering what my reminiscing has to do with today’s text. Simple! There is a work in 2 Peter 1:9 that truly resonates with me. Have you guessed what the word is? It is the word nearsighted.
Nearsighted (μυωπάζω; myopazo) is a present active verb which means to fail to understand, to lack understanding, or to be shortsighted. What applies to me physically can apply to any Christian spiritually. Any believer can develop spiritual myopia. How? By lacking the spiritual qualities found in 2 Peter 1:5-7.
The believer in Christ who fails to consciously and actively add to their faith the qualities of virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love, lack clear vision of what it means to be a committed follower of Jesus Christ. In fact, Peter said that the believers in question were so nearsighted, they are blind (τυφλός; typhlos) or unable to see the spiritual realities of the unseen world.
Take all of the political disharmony and acrimony which is occurring within the United States for example. The tenor of the times reflect a spiritual degeneration within this country paralleling what the Apostle Paul stated in Romans 1:18-32. Unless there is true repentance it will only get worse.
Tragically, this degeneration is not limited to the halls of government, business or secular college campuses and universities. It is also occurring within many evangelical denominations and local churches where the Word of God, and the expository preaching of the same, is dismissed as old fashioned and out of date. It can become so bad, Peter claimed, that people may forget that they were ever forgiven of their sins by grace alone, through faith alone, in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.
Dr. John MacArthur writes, “The failure to diligently pursue spiritual virtues produces spiritual amnesia. Such a person, unable to discern his spiritual condition, will have no confidence about his profession of faith. He may be saved and possess all the blessings of vv. 3–4, but without the excellencies of vv. 5–7, he will live in doubt and fear.”
Does this describe you and your walk with Christ at this moment? Are you becoming spiritually nearsighted and blind to the Word of God and the ravages of the temptations from the fallen world, the devil and even your sinful flesh? Repent immediately and receive God’s mercy and forgiveness and resolve to begin adding to your faith the qualities of a clear seeing believer in Christ.
20/20 vision is so good to have. Life is no longer a blur.
Soli deo Gloria!