Are you nearsighted? If so, your vision can be improved. But it’s up to you to seek treatment.
Nearsightedness, called myopia, is when we only see things clearly when they are close up. Anything that is at a distance is blurred and hard to discern.
Physical myopia can be treated with surgery, lasers, or glasses. But there is another type of nearsightedness, which is spiritual myopia. The good news is that it can be treated as well.
Living with Myopia
Frankly, I am blind as a bat. If you walked into the room, and I didn’t have my contacts in, I couldn’t even tell who you were.
My eyesight became an issue in sixth grade. After a few years of dealing with it, I began to notice one positive aspect: it became a wonderful occasion when I got new glasses or contacts.
When you are nearsighted, you don’t even know what it is that you’re not seeing. Things are a blur unless they are directly in front of you, so you tend to stop looking at them.
But when your eyesight is corrected, the world looks different, sharper and crisper. You see things you didn’t notice before and discern details you weren’t aware were there. It’s great.
Spiritual myopia is that way too. When you have it, you don’t realize what you are not seeing. You see what is up close, which is yourself and what you want. Things that are further away–other people, spirituality, and God–are not what you focus on. They remain in the far-off, blurry distance.
You are looking at a distorted view of reality. The things you can’t see are actually the ones that are the most important. You can be totally self-absorbed, spiritually near-sighted, and not even notice.
But spiritual myopia can be treated, by changing how you look at things. Now, you likely focus primarily on yourself. But if you shift your gaze–to other people and their needs and toward God, who you need, whether you know it or not–your spiritual vision can improve.
Treating Spiritual Myopia
The first step in treating any ailment is diagnosis. Below will be five questions you can use as an “eye test” to see if you have spiritual myopia. For each one, there is a suggested treatment:
- Diagnosis: Do you think about God much or try to control everything by yourself?
- Treatment: Surrender your will to God and make choices based on faith and courage.
- Diagnosis: Do you steadfastly refuse to dwell on those wrongs that you continue to do?
- Treatment: Humbly admit your mistakes and make positive changes in your life.
- Diagnosis: Do you focus on your own feelings rather than being concerned for others?
- Treatment: Seek forgiveness and invest in good relationships.
- Diagnosis: Do you allow busyness to keep you preoccupied with secular activities?
- Treatment: Spend time every day in prayer and meditation.
- Diagnosis: Do you look after your own wants and needs to the exclusion of others?
- Treatment: Serve as an example and add value to the lives of others.
With that assessment, you likely determined that you have at least some symptoms of spiritual myopia, because most of us do. If so, some of the corrective actions may be just the treatment you need to make spiritual growth more possible.
Spiritual myopia is real, and most of us suffer from it. But it can be treated. Afterwards, everything will look different, and what is really important in life will come much more into focus.
Question: How good is your spiritual eyesight?
Action: Pick the question above that fit you the most, and decide what you will do about it.