Spiritual Vision Impairment


Many of our spiritual weaknesses may be compared to physical infirmities. The Scriptures often describe our spiritual ills by using such comparisons. One of the more vivid illustrations is that of vision impairment—the inability to see clearly. By seeing with the eyes of faith, we are led by God along the right paths. “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” (Ps. 119:18). There are different kinds of spiritual eye trouble.

Blinded by deception and prejudice. Paul wrote about those for whom the gospel is “veiled.” To explain this condition, the apostle described how “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel…” (2 Cor. 4:3-4). This speaks of the reality of the influence of the evil one in this world. Similarly, when Jesus taught the Parable of the Sower, he recalled the words of Isaiah about people whose “eyes they have closed lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them” (Matt. 13:15). The prejudice of a hardened heart allows the evil one to snatch away the seed of the gospel that has been sown (v. 19).

The world with its alluring temptations, lusts, and appeal to pride can blind us to what is real. If we are to see the light, we must not allow our minds to be prejudiced and our spiritual vision to be obscured.

Walking in darkness. The practice of unrighteousness is equated with walking in darkness, rather than in God’s light. Walking in the light is not only requisite to the cleansing of the blood of Christ (1 John 1:5-7), but also for our ability to continue seeing our way. John said that the one who walks in the darkness “does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (2:11).

The continual practice of sin has a way of dulling our sensitivities and searing our conscience. By losing the ability to discern good and evil, we have lost our way. If you don’t want to get lost, then don’t walk where it is dark.

Shortsightedness. Some people see only what is near. Peter described them as “nearsighted” to the point of being blind (2 Pet. 1:9). He used the Greek word from which we get the word myopia. This speaks of a spiritual myopia that causes us to think only of the present, of the here and now. Such shortsightedness may result in failing to remember the past, how we were cleansed from our former sins, and failing to add the virtues of the Christian life to our faith. It may also prevent us from seeing beyond the present to what lies ahead.

We need to see the blessings God has in store for us, as well as the consequences of looking only at the present. “We look not at the things that are seen, but at the things which are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18). With the help of the corrective lenses of God’s word, we can look into eternity, and direct our lives accordingly.

Dan Petty