I have worn glasses or contact lenses since second grade, and blended bifocals for over a decade. Without them, the world is a blur. Even with them, I see haloes around lights and floaters everywhere, although I’ve learned to ignore them.
As a result of my nearly lifelong experience of nearsightedness and astigmatism, I might have an inside track on understanding Peter’s figure of speech in verse 9. Immature or stagnant Christians are called “nearsighted and blind.” They’re failing to grow because they’ve lost sight of their salvation.
Since Christ has given us everything we need for a godly life, we are to “make every effort” to grow in Christian virtue (vv. 5–7). This list, one of several in the New Testament, includes faith, goodness, accurate knowledge, self-control, perseverance or steadfastness, godliness or righteousness, mutual affection or kindness, and selfless, sacrificial agape love (see Gal. 5:22–23; Col. 3:12–14). If we keep growing in these qualities in “increasing measure,” we will not be ineffective or unproductive in our “pursuit of knowing our Lord Jesus Christ more intimately” (NET); we will bear fruit in and for Christ (vv. 8–9). By contrast, believers who are not growing are “nearsighted and blind.” It’s as if they have forgotten that they have been cleansed from sin and redeemed.
“Therefore,” since spiritual growth is expected, desirable, and testimony to genuine salvation, we’re to “make every effort to confirm [our] calling and election” (vv. 10–11). In other words, spiritual maturation and good works are evidence that we really are saved and walking on the right path. We cannot earn our way to heaven, but there will be evidence that we’re God’s children and belong there.
>> As children grow, parents like to mark their increasing height on a doorframe. How do we mark our spiritual progress? Take a moment to reflect on how you’ve grown in the Lord during the past year or maybe five or ten years.
Father, we worship You! You have freed us from sinful patterns, You have lifted our spiritual blindness, and You have cultivated our growth in godliness. The more we know You, the more we want! Give us more of Yourself.