During the last two weeks, I had cataract surgery on both eyes. It was time, since I had increasing difficulty reading road signs. The first surgery on my left eye went well. Then I discovered that when I wore my glasses, the vision of my left eye was blurred; but without my glasses, the vision of my right eye was blurred. I was totally unbalanced. People suggested I take out a lens from my glasses, but that resulted in double vision. The doctor explained both eyes work together and until I would have surgery on my right eye, I would not be able to see clearly.
So one week later, I had surgery on my right eye. What a difference. And it’s only been a few days since the second surgery. The type of my computer appears boldfaced; I can already read road signs. The distance vision with my left eye seems perfect, while my right eye seems just a notch away from focusing. Amazing!
Wouldn’t it be great to have our spiritual vision so drastically improved? Seems there are always gray areas in life in which we lack focus. Is it OK to do this or that? Which perspective is right? Here are four guidelines I follow to clear my spiritual vision:
1. What does God’s Word say about the issue? And I don’t mean one proof text. You can find a verse in the Bible to support most any position. But what is the overall tenor of the Bible on this issue? Take, for instance, the Sabbath. The Old Testament had strict guidelines about what could and could not be done on the Sabbath. Jesus allowed doing good on the Sabbath. And we have freedom in Christ. But does that mean we are free to shop, mow grass, etc.? How can we best honor God on Sundays in a world that largely ignores Him? Just asking.
2. What do God’s people say about an issue? As we listen to sermons, participate in Bible study discussions and chat with other Christians, how do they feel about this issue? Christianity is lived in community. How is this issue seen across denominations? No one person (or group) has a corner on truth, so listen to sermons, chat with neighbors. You never know who God might use to bring clarity to an area with which you wrestle. Remember, God spoke to Balaam through a donkey.
3. What does God’s Spirit say about an issue? Jiminy Cricket said, “Let your conscience be your guide.” The only trouble with that is that our consciences are shaped by our cultures. However, if we prayerfully approach an issue, God’s Spirit can whisper to our hearts if we quiet ourselves to listen. Sometimes I sit quietly at the end of my devotional time and write down what I feel God is saying to me.
4. Do my thoughts about this issue draw me closer to God or erect a barrier in my relationship with God? If my response to this issue pulls me away from God, I probably should not pursue it. If it draws me closer to God, that is always a good thing.
That may sound a bit simplistic. And the world has become quite complex. I still do not have 20/20 vision on the Sabbath issue. But while I may never achieve perfect focus this side of heaven, I can see well enough to read many of the directional signs along the way.
As always, I value hearing any suggestions you might add. To leave a comment, click on the link at the bottom of the page, which will lead you to the website of my blog where you can scroll down to the comments box.
Have a blessed month.
September 8, Noon – Speaking at Philipsburg Christian Women’s Club.
September 9, Noon – Speaking at Altoona Christian Women’s Club.
September 10, Noon – Speaking at Johnstown Christian Women’s Club.