Thursday, November 11, 2004

But Now I See…

Seeing Christianity as a Certain Way of Seeing

I’m nearly convinced that the main struggle in all the Christian life is the struggle to see. Not “to see” in the sense of light waves and optic nerves and brain sensations. “To see” in the sense that Jesus meant: “For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their 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. But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.” (Mt 13:15-16)

This language of seeing is all over the place in the Bible. Why are certain people Christians and others not? Because in the latter case, “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor 4:4). How are people changed into the image of Jesus Christ? By “beholding the glory of the Lord, [thus] being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Cor 3:18). What motivates us to endure suffering? The eyesight of Moses, who “endured as seeing him who is invisible” (Heb 11:27).

I doubt if we would be so flippant about how we spend our days if we could see that life is a vapor (James 4:14). I doubt if we would sin so quickly if we could see the deadly poison underneath the candy coating of temptation (James 1:14-16). I doubt if we would be so attached to earth and so apathetic about heaven if we could see the ugliness here compared with the magnificence there (Rev 21:10-27). I doubt if we would treat people with such condescension and disdain if we could see that the priceless blood of Jesus flowed for their forgiveness (Rom 14:15). I doubt if we would be so casual about poor study habits and low grades if we could see that even the way we eat and drink reflects what we think of God (1 Cor 10:31).

So I conclude that another way to describe true Christianity is that it is a certain way of seeing. If you’re not a Christian, ask God to help you see. If you are one, pray and strive and train yourself to see what you really see. In short, Christian living is Christian seeing. Perhaps John Newton was right in more ways than one when he described his conversion: “I once was lost but now am found/Was blind but now I see.”


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

This reminded me of a common cliche I have been mulling over for the past few weeks. The cliche is "you are so heavenly minded you are no earthly good." I don't like this cliche for several reasons. One being that it makes longing for heaven seem like a childish or negative meditation or a waste of time. To me it seems that people are really saying "come on! be realistic. we need to live in the present." To some extent that is true, but I think that being heavenly minded is kinda like "praying without ceasing". It is something that needs to be always at the back of our mind.
The main problem I have with that cliche is that it puts meditating or longing for heaven in a negative light. It seems to me that if we truly saw how amazingly wonderful heaven will be we would do all in our might to live so that the consequence of living our life in a certain way would be positive. We would see the the results of living a lukewarm life and strive to become even more heavenly minded.
Anyway, these are just some of my thoughts. I am not sure how well they coordinate with what you wrote, but it is what came to mind as I was reading.