No matter how careful I am, my eyeglasses get dirty. I must clean them several times a day. I long ago trained myself not to touch the lenses with my fingers, but, somehow, my glasses can’t stay clean for a whole hour. But the thing that really amazes me is how dirty they get before I notice. Sometimes I remove them and marvel at the thoroughness of the smudges. Clear vision requires constant diligence.
Perception is the real issue with dirty eyeglasses. How badly does my ability to see need to get before I perceive the oily smudges and distortions? How much of any given day do I walk around not seeing clearly? If I start to read something, that will usually tip me off quickly that my glasses are dirty. But when I am just looking through my spectacles in general, they can get very clouded before I become aware. This leads me to ponder this problem as a parable.
A parable is a story that helps a person see a deeper truth. How clear is my perception of truth? How can I test my awareness to verify that I am discerning truth as it really is and not something distorted by my opinions, preferences, culture, and education? When I need to check my glasses, I remove them and change my perspective from looking through the lenses to looking at them while changing the angle the light hits them. Doing this gives me a new point of reference that separates my glasses from my eyesight. So, thinking of this as a parable, if I want to make sure the truth I am experiencing is not distorted, I need a way to look at truth that brings to light any distortions. I must look at my beliefs, biases, and preferences in a way that gives me a new view of them with a source of light that reveals the smudges. To do that I need clear truth, good light, and the integrity to be willing to address problems in my understanding.
To see as I need to, I use the Bible, prayer, the Holy Spirit, and other Christian believers. The Bible is truth and where it clearly states something and I disagree with it, I am wrong. Prayer invites God into the process of examining my perspective. Done correctly, prayer involves looking intently at the state of my soul before God and confessing my sins asking God to cleanse my soul. As a further help, God’s Holy Spirit helps me discern God’s truth from every other kind of untruth. But what if the thing that is blocking my vision isn’t on my glasses, but is in or on my eye? That’s where other sincere Christian believers can be a great help. They can see the surface of my eye and I cannot. Other Christians can help us get a perspective on the parts of our lives, like our personality and mannerisms that are apparent to others but cannot be easily seen by ourselves.
If I can’t keep my physical eyeglasses clear for a whole hour, how much less can I keep my perception of truth clear if I avoid the things that help me evaluate my beliefs, biases, and preferences. If we do not regularly read our Bible, pray, or attend to the nudges of the Holy Spirit, we will greatly obscure and dim our perception. And if we avoid frequent association with other sincere believers in Christ, then the people we do have around us will be only at least as blind as we are, if not more. Living by God’s truth requires dedicated diligence. How clearly are you seeing right now?
Contact Pastor Lamb at firstname.lastname@example.org.