Cataracts are a medical condition that almost every one of us are familiar with and a lot of us have experienced it firsthand or have somebody in our immediate family that has. I just found out that I have joined that elite club with the promise that if I do nothing, blindness is the logical conclusion. This condition however is medical and therefore deals with the physical body but he got me thinking about our spiritual walk in life.
As we grow older the risk of cataracts increases with each decade of life starting around age 40. By age 75, half of white Americans have cataracts. By age 80, 70 percent of whites have cataracts compared with 53 percent of blacks and 61 percent of Hispanic Americans. (Source – CDC)
In those individuals who develop cataracts, any activity which requires clear and sharp vision may eventually become affected as the cataracts grow and allows less and less light from an image to be projected onto the retina through the lens. Even though cataracts usually develop over a long period of time, over the years the worsening of the condition may affect the ability of the individual to read, drive, see family members’ faces clearly, cook, sew, or any number of activities that require clear eyesight including difficulty in seeing during the night.
In life we are all exposed to all kinds of different religions and philosophies about life and who or what we should believe. Our family, our friends, and especially the media has a very strong influence on what our belief system and the being. When we are born we start with a totally clean slate and as we grow older that slate gets filled in with who we become. For this example let’s use the eye as it is often considered the window to the soul. In Matthew 6:22-23a, Jesus says “The eye is the lamp of the body.”
Some words of Jesus seem to make no sense at all. For instance, we read, “The eye is the lamp of the body….” Then, as if this were not confusing enough, Jesus adds, “So, if your eye is healthy (ἁπλοῦς; aplous) your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad (πονηρὸς; poneros), your whole body will be full of darkness” (Matthew 6:22-23a). The most popular way of dealing with texts such as these is to ignore them!
First, let’s talk about Jesus’ statement, “The eye is the lamp of the body.” Modern people, like you and me, think of the eye as a window that allows light into the body. Ancient Jews, however, thought that the eye was the origin of light (something of a flashlight). In other words, everything in your life depends on how you see things. Someone put it this way: “It is your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude.”
As we mature, if we are exposed to good morals, an upstanding lifestyle, or Christianity in its true sense the lens of the eye will remain clear and we will be able to see things in their true perspective and make good decisions. However if we allow them to be secular and exposed to the smokescreens of life (smoking is one of the causes of cataracts) and toxic lifestyles seeking only to serve ourselves and their own personal desires such as wealth and fame that lens will become clouded and lead to blindness.
Here are some factors associated with cataract development: Aging, Family history, Diabetes, Injury to the eye including excessive exposure to sunlight, Smoking, Obesity, High blood pressure, and Alcohol abuse. I am also sure that drug abuse does not help either.
If we allow these “spiritual cataracts” to continue growing in results in a condition that will render us unable to see God or understand His message. Although God is working all around us, pursuing us, and showing us his glory, some people unfortunately cannot perceive his divine workings.
Acts 28:26-31 states;
26. Saying, ‘go to this people and say, “you will keep on hearing, but will not understand; and you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;
27. For the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and i would heal them.”‘
28. “therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of god has been sent to the gentiles; they will also listen.”
29. [when he had spoken these words, the Jews departed, having a great dispute among themselves.]
30. And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him,
31. Preaching the kingdom of god and teaching concerning the lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.
The huge problem with cataracts is that they come on very gradually and the more they develop the harder it is to see things clearly. The more we become involved in the ways of the world and the more sin takes hold of us, the harder it is for us to see the reality of what is happening to us and our of your life. The only cure for spiritual cataracts, whether we want to face it or not, is Jesus Christ and faith in Him.
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