In an effort to instill a little faith and levity into a situation, I will sometimes quote part of the first stanza of the song, Amazing Grace, but with a small change1:
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I wear glasses.
This usually gets a laugh, which is often a good starting point for a conversation. However, I like the fact that – by referring to this song – I can indicate that I have some sort of Christian faith, and perhaps even get a chance to talk more about the details of that faith.
Still, all kidding aside, there is a real change in vision that occurs when someone chooses to follow Jesus. I still need glasses after giving my life to Him, but there was a level of spiritual understanding that I acquired when I did so. This isn’t just a random claim that I make; it is based on the following verse from the Bible:
But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
2 Corinthians 3:16 NLT
This passage comes in a section of 2 Corinthians where Paul is talking about the difficulty that some people had in understanding the message of the Old Testament. There was an obstacle – like a filter, or blinders – that prevented them from appreciating what it was pointing them to (i.e., Jesus’ arrival and fulfillment of its requirements).
There is a fundamental difference in someone’s understanding that comes when they begin to follow Jesus. This may seem counter-intuitive or illogical to those who take a humanistic point of view of concepts like thought, knowledge, and self-control. However, those who have experienced the benefits of this can testify that it is a real thing. Messages from the Bible, our experiences (past and present), how the world works, the nature of humankind, and the arc of history start to make more sense with God’s help.
I suspect that some of this insight comes from the same choice that leads one to believe Jesus at His word in the first place. Once someone accepts what Jesus says – about how to treat other people, who God is, and what our purpose is in life – other things start to make more sense:
- Rather than trying to follow nice-sounding (but human-constructed) rules about right and wrong, we can strive to live according to God’s universal standards, which He knows will lead to maximizing our potential.
- Understanding the nature of God, and our relationship to Him, helps us compare both successful and failed philosophies against the truth.
- Appreciating the relationship between an organized universe created by God, and His choice to intervene miraculously on occasion, allows us to study science: contrasting events in history that are repeatable, versus those that were unique.
- Knowing where people came from, as well as how – and why – they do the things they do, allows us to better relate to them and work together with them to achieve great things (with God’s help).
So, accepting Jesus’ words as truth gives us a framework (or “worldview”) in which to place our observations and experiences. But, there’s still more. Let’s take a look at another source of insight for Christians, tomorrow.
For some of the background on this article, reference The College Press NIV Commentary, 2 Corinthians, William R. Baker, College Press Publishing Co., Joplin, MO, (c) 1999, pages 162-166.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
- I mean no disrespect to the message of this song, but I believe that we can appreciate the concept at the same time as we use our own words to make a point. (For Scripture, on the other hand, I take a much more stringent approach, at least in my own use.) My sister, who is sometimes a worship leader, taught me that one can also sing Amazing Grace to the tune of the “Gilligan’s Island” theme song. No matter the notes, the message can still be valuable. ↩
2 thoughts on “I Once Was Blind, Part 1”
Excellent post, thank you!