If anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. (2 Pet. 1:9)

VISION IS A GOOD thing. People suffering from vision problems often consult an ophthalmologist for help. This specialist may prescribe eye-movement exercises to correct sight deficiencies. These exercises require self-control, discipline, and repetition; in short, a lot of focused work. The point of the exercises is to increase the eye’s dexterity and restore what has been lost.

The character qualities Peter outlined for us provide spiritual eye exercises. The more we possess and use them, the more our perspective is refined and our Christ-centered values solidified. When we cooperate with the Spirit’s counsel in cultivating these character traits, spiritual myopia is reversed and our vision of Christ and His view of the world extended.

The traits Peter described also provide perspective regarding our past. Peter suggested that Christians may forget they have been cleansed from their past sins. This occurs when guilt and shame, like cataracts, cloud our vision of what Christ has done for us. When our faith is lacking, our view becomes nearsighted and fixated on our past mistakes. However, when our faith is flourishing, we confidently acknowledge what God has done, freeing us to live for the future rather than being mired in the past. If you are hounded by guilt and shame, change your outlook by asking God to show you what He has done with your past.

Pray that God will eliminate your shame and provide clear spiritual vision.

Jim Miller is a chaplain in the US Army. He is married, has two teenage children, and enjoys traveling, music, video games, and playing with his dogs.