Blind By Choice
Matthew 13:15 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.
I don’t have a problem! Almost everyone who has ever been addicted to anything, whether it was drugs, pride, anger, money, self-image or pornography, has uttered these words. Denial is a universal expression when first confronted with our slavery to any defect of the flesh.
I have a self-imposed blindness to my own destruction so, I respond with hostility. I’m not the one with the problem! You are! If loved ones and family have come to me suggesting I have am a workaholic, I have a problem (Oddly enough, no one has ever accused me of that one). Insisting that I do not have a problem does not make it true. It just makes me blind.
Working with addicts can be maddening but working with addicts in denial is just futile until they open their eyes and choose honesty. This, I think, is the frustration Jesus felt in the passage above. He spoke of those who could not or would not comprehend his message. He said their hearts had grown dull and they had closed their eyes, suggesting some volition on their part. Their blindness and deafness was self-imposed and it prevented them from knowing Christ.
Why would anyone choose to be blind and deaf? The reality is, it is not that I cannot see anything. It is just that the thing which I am focused on is obstructing my view of reality and of God. The truth is, I am blinded by self. That which keeps me from honesty about my defect is the same that blinds me to God. I am the obstruction in my ears and the cataracts in my eyes. It is my focus on me that distracts me from knowing Christ and being healed.
I do not, in fact, want change and I do not want to be healed. I like indulging in my defect. I am addicted to a thing because that thing brings me some pleasure. Even if I become sick of the destruction a thing is causing, I know that change is excruciating. Authentic transformation is miserably painful and violent so I would rather just remain blind and deaf.
Jesus is waiting to heal me and daily deliver me from self if I will but open my eyes and turn to him. He says my spiritual senses are my responsibility to develop. I need to choose to open my eyes by purposefully turning my gaze from self and focusing on him. If I do not purposefully turn my attention to him, by default, I focus on me.
If I find God to be distant and my relationship with him lacking, God is not the problem. I have chosen to be deaf, dumb and blind to him. He is always speaking and will always respond when I pursue him. I cannot keep one eye on self and the other on God. I must pursue painful honesty about my own defect if I want to know God and his healing.