Spiritual Myopia

Don Givens
Honolulu, Hawaii

It is easy to become short-sighted in life, to see things only as they appear at the moment, and to be unable to take the long view of matters. This is "spiritual myopia" as described by the apostle Peter. After admonishing us to give all diligence to add faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and love to our character, Peter exclaims: "For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful unto the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he that lacketh these things is blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins" (2 Pet. 1:8,9).

"Seeing only what is near" (ASV) is from the Greek muopazon, akin to the English myopia. The RSV translates it "is blind and short-sighted."

Spiritually speaking, many people are so short-sighted that they have their eyes fixed only on the things of this earth, to the degree that they never think of the things which are beyond. They shut their eyes to that which they do not wish to see, just as the blind Pharisees shut their spiritual eyes to their true condition (Matt. 15:14; 23:17,19; John 9:39-41).

It is a very unfortunate condition when one's spiritual discernment is clouded with the temporal affairs of this life, and he sees only the affairs of this corrupt, passing world.

As pilgrims passing through this doomed world, if we do not put forth diligent effort to grow in the graces Peter lists in verses 5 through 7, we will go blind, without the guiding light that knowledge of the Scripture brings (2 Tim. 3:15). It is a sad condition to see one with no spiritual discernment. Such a one will stumble and fall (2 Pet. 1:10).

Do not allow yourself to develop defective moral and spiritual vision. Do not allow this world to "squeeze you into its mold" (see Rom. 12:1,2). Do not allow Satan (through ungodly associates, corrupt television shows, filthy books, or immoral music) to discourage you from reading, meditating on, and studying the sacred Scriptures which can make you wise unto salvation. In fact, as good and beneficial as are magazines such as this one, you ought to be reading directly from the sacred Scriptures more than any other source! Drink deeply of the fountain of life!

Peter warns us against forgetting our cleansing from our old sins (2 Pet. 1:9). Do not forget the reason you were delivered from your sins! Your past baptism was a deliberate act or decision of faith to leave the old carnal way, and to enter on the new way (2 Cor. 5:17). The person who does not grow in the graces that Peter lists has either forgotten, or never learned, the meaning of his baptism. His eyesight is short, but so is his memory! To become forgetful of what a blessing it is to have our sins removed by the precious blood of the Lord is disastrous to our souls.

"Wherefore, brethren, give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never stumble: for thus shall be richly supplied unto you the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 1:10,11).

If you miss that entrance, you miss everything!

Guardian of Truth XXX: 22, p. 695
November 20, 1986