Physical blindness is a condition that is known to all those who are afflicted by it. My younger brother Bobby is blind in his right eye from an accident years ago . . . and he knows it. He has learned to compensate for his blindness.
Spiritual blindness, however, is a condition that is known only to those who are given the grace of supernatural sight to see their own sin. David was given this great grace: “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3).
Isaiah was given this great grace: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5).
Peter was given this great grace, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (Luke 5:8).
Do you know this great grace of seeing your own sin? Or are you blind to your blindness? How would those closest to you answer this question?
We are blind to our blindness when we cannot or will not see our own sin. Even worse, we are blind to our blindness and think we see well when we find it much easier to notice the speck in the eye of someone else without ever noticing the plank in our own eye.
King David was blind to his blindness until God graciously sent the prophet Nathan to rebuke David with a word from God. The story of David really bothered me, especially when I read he was a “man after God’s own heart.” I mean, come on! David stayed home when he should have been off to war, slept with another man’s wife, and then sentenced that man to death while he was on the battlefield, honorably defending his nation.
Not until God gave me the grace to see the overarching theme of David’s story as my story did I begin to see just how blind I was to my blindness. It is only by the grace of God that today I am a gratefully recovering Pharisee, having been given the vision to clearly see my own sin . . . as painful as that is at times!
So how well do you see your own sin? Before you answer that question, read and meditate on the following verse.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
It never ceases to amaze me just how blind we are to our own sin—and that includes me! It’s in our DNA to think we are better than we actually are. This is the deceitfulness and sickness of the heart, even after Jesus raises us from death to life. To be sure, sin no longer reigns in the life of the believer, but it still remains. “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want” (Galatians 5:17-18). And our sinful nature is quick to deflect, defend, and diminish our sin.
We have become experts at shaping our sin into acceptable shapes.
- The sin of impatience is shaped into “getting others up to our speed.”
- The sin of immorality is shaped into “personal self expression.”
- The sin of materialism is shaped into “getting my fair share.”
- The sin of legalism is shaped into “a sold-out love of the Law.”
- The sin of a critical spirit is shaped into “discernment.”
- The sin of workaholism is shaped into “providing for my family.”
- The sin of fits of rage is shaped into “righteousness anger.”
Does any of this resonate with you? Can you think of some others “acceptable” shapes of sin that might be befouling your life right now? God in Christ has given sight to blind eyes and flesh to hard hearts. As He reveals more and more of our sin, we are able to receive what we see and cry out to Jesus for healing.
This is the gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!