It’s easy to point fingers at the failures of others while ignoring our shortcomings. Jesus warned against this tendency by advising us to remove the log from our eye before commenting on the speck in the eye of our brother (Matthew 7:4-5). Sometimes, as we are refining our walk with Christ, we become blind to our less developed disciplines. It is common for us all to gravitate to certain portions of Scripture that resonate the most with us.
Too often though, we do so to the detriment of studying other parts and we develop blind spots. It’s a good practice to read some passages with which you don’t frequently engage to see what you might be missing and identify any blind spots you may have. I don’t get through many mornings reading Scripture without being convicted of something.
On one such occasion, I was reading Ephesians chapter 5. This is a familiar passage to me, as I had memorized a good chunk of Ephesians as part of a challenge for a preaching series in a church I was part of a decade ago. But I hadn’t revisited it in quite some time (and sadly my memorization of it is no longer sharp!), but I was struck all over again by verses 1-5. I’m certain all of us fall short of God’s standard as laid out in these verses.
In a culture soaking in division and social media madness, the call for no coarse and foolish talking or crude joking seems more than relevant. And in a society steeped in sexual immorality, we need to take these verses to heart. Notice Paul warns that no sexually immoral, impure, or greedy person will have an inheritance in God’s Kingdom. That should startle every single one of us, for who among us can honestly say they have not at some point—perhaps even now—fallen into one of those categories?
Paul equates greed with idolatry. Greed has become a way of life in the West. Regardless of your income, look around where you live. Most of us have more than we need. We all own things we haven’t made use of in years. Despite that, most of us will buy even more stuff in the coming weeks and months. Our appetite for consumption is insatiable, and it’s hard to classify it as anything other than greed. When we already have more than we need, from where else would the desire for more come?
Blind spots are uncomfortable to discover, and even more painful to resolve. They show how far we’ve yet to go in our quest to be like Jesus. It’s tempting to ignore them, but we do so at our peril. There is no part of Scripture we cannot take seriously. So when we read of common sins that will keep us from our inheritance with Christ, it should be sobering. Are we engaging in coarse or foolish conversation? Are we guilty of sexually immoral thoughts or actions? Do we side with impure trends of morality? If we aren’t for God, we stand against Him (Matthew 12:30). Finally, are we guilty of greed or idolatry in any area of our lives? We all have blind spots. Don’t let them go unchallenged and uncorrected. Our eternity hangs in the balance.