The Danger of Shortsightedness

Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you. 2 Peter 1:1-11

Did you know a person can have 20/20 vision and yet be nearsighted spiritually? That’s what happens when someone pursues short-term desires instead of the qualities God values: faith, virtue, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love (2 Pet. 1:5-7). Biblical stories about spiritually shortsighted people caution us against sacrificing future blessings for more immediate gratification.

Take Saul, for instance: He was Israel’s first king, but when he decided his way was better than God’s, the Lord took his kingdom away and gave it to David (1 Samuel 15:1-28). And, sadly, David himself is another example. He had been faithful for many years but in a moment of weakness made a devastating choice: His desire for Bathsheba led him to commit both adultery and murder. Although he repented and was forgiven, the consequences of his sin impacted the rest of his life (2 Samuel 12:7-14).

To avoid the kind of mistakes these men made, we need to prioritize God’s long-term goals for us. In other words, we must cherish the eternal over the temporal and strengthen our faith with godly virtues. Setting our minds on things above protects us from the consequences of shortsighted goals.

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