Journal Entry // November 19, 2022
For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. (ESV)2 Peter 1:9
The qualities that should supplement our faith that Peter is referring to in this passage are virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. These are the qualities that every believer should see being manifest in their life. These qualities should be present and growing in an ever-increasing abundance. They are the status indicators of our heart and soul that reveal to us our inner motivation and desires. They are important insights that need to be carefully reviewed and understood. For if we are lacking in these qualities and our faith is not being worked out and demonstrated with the fruit of these qualities, then we are blind. Blind to the truth of the gospel. Blind to the cleansing and washing away of our sin by the precious blood of Christ.
I have been in this spot before. I have come out of a place of nearsighted blindness. I can look back to that time and see that these very qualities that Peter mentions were indeed lacking and declining in my life. I had truly forgotten that I had been cleansed of my former sins and the truth of the gospel only stayed on the surface of my life. It became peripheral to my daily habits and routine. I was blind to the fact that I was not allowing the gospel to penetrate my heart. I kept the gospel at a distance from me. I wanted it to be near, but I did not want it to penetrate.
Of course, I didn’t realize this at the time, but I see it now. I see it so clearly now. I see how I put up walls of self-sufficiency and reliance that caused me to trust only in myself. I became puffed up with my own knowledge and understanding. I listened to the praise and commendation of those around me and it became the source of my strength and my motivation. It felt good to hear the applause and encouragement of those around me. This became my motivation and desire. I slowly drifted away from the good news of Jesus Christ and the changing power of the gospel and settled into a life of selfish pride and arrogance.
Then Christ rescued me again. He opened my eyes and removed the blindness that had captured me. He let me see the lack of virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love in my life and faith. It pains me even now to remember those days of revelation. It pains to see how far I had drifted away from the good paths of the gospel. It hurts my heart to understand the waywardness that was leading me down a path of destruction. A path lined with pleasure and good intentions that would ultimately destroy my soul. But Jesus rescued me from this path of destruction and set me back on the good path of his gospel. A path lined with suffering and adversity. A path that leads me to complete joy and satisfaction in Jesus.
It still pains me to remember the blindness that had captured me, but it pains me even more to see that my heart still wants to drift back towards this wayward path. My heart still pulls at me to trust in myself instead of Jesus. I must be vigilant in this battle for my soul. These qualities of faith are important markers in my life and indicate the state of my heart and soul. I must review them often. I must give an honest and full review of my heart using these qualities as a guide. This is the way to dispel the nearsighted blindness to the sin that clings. I need a continual honest review of my motivations and relationship with Jesus. I need repentance. I need repentance each and every day. I need to draw near to Jesus each and every day in humble reliance upon the good news of his cleansing and healing of my heart. The Spirit lives within me. Jesus has come to me and draws near every moment. I must embrace Christ with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.