P.E.A.R.s – Periodic Encouragement And Reminders
More than Claritin Clear – a vision reality check©
Robert E. Alderman,Jr.
I know you’ve probably seen the commercials on TV – where a clouded and out of focus covering is pulled back to reveal an improved picture of life with high contrast and bright objects.
“There’s clear and then there’s Claritin clear” – is the verbal message that accompanies the visual presentation.
The idea conveyed is that irritants and allergies can affect our senses causing us to feel miserable and not to see or live clearly. But we’re told with the right product we can enjoy life the way it was meant to be enjoyed.
Every time you see this commercial in the future or others like it such as Visine’s “It gets the red out” and those promoting contact lens cleaning solutions, I encourage you to relate them in your mind to a similar but greater truth regarding clarity of our senses found in the Bible at Matthew 6:22-23:
“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! (NAS)
What Christ was teaching to those around Him when He made that statement (and is teaching you and me today through the Bible) is that our spiritual vision and senses are more important than physical sight.
The commentary to these verses in my applications study Bible expresses it this way:
“Spiritual vision is our capacity to see clearly what God wants us to do and to see the world from His point of view. But this spiritual insight can be easily clouded. Self-serving desires, interests and goals block that vision. Serving God is the best way to restore it. A ‘clear’ eye is one that is fixed on God.”
The difference between the two (having our “eye” fixed on this world rather than on God) is the difference between darkness and light; it’s the difference between deception and reality.
Additional teaching on this truth is found in “The Divine Conspiracy – rediscovering our hidden life in God” by Dallas Willard:
“The person who treasures what lies within the Kingdom sees everything in its true worth and relationship. The person who treasures what is ‘on earth’, by contrast, sees everything from a perspective that distorts it and systematically misleads in practice. The relative importance of things is, in particular, misperceived.
Thus, if your eyes are bad, your body as a whole is in the dark. If the eye of your soul, ‘the light within you, is not functioning, then you are in the dark about everything. You are simply lost. You don’t know where you are or where you are going. This is what it means to be a ‘lost soul’, a dead soul.
So, how do we find this light – in order that we can lift the veil of darkness and begin to see clearly to fill our hearts with reality?
The answer is the same as it would be for learning and gaining knowledge of any topic of importance or of growing closer to someone such as a teacher who has the ability to tutor and lead us – we study the manual and we spend time with the teacher. In this instance, it means reading the Bible (perhaps with support from others) and spending prayer time with God.
In other words it takes some effort on our part as it’s not going to happen by osmosis!
People who are best able to recognize God’s Will and direction in life (to see His Light and walk in it) are those who know His Word best. As God said Himself, “You will find me [and the light of reality I provide] when you seek me with all of your heart.” (Jer. 29:13)
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The allergy commercial by Claritin can tell us, “There’s clear and then there’s Claritin clear” regarding the physical condition of our senses. However, absolute clarity – clarity that means the difference between light and darkness in our soul – is found only through Jesus Christ and God’s Word.
Such provide a great deal more than Claritin clear!
Have a great week! (and to my family, Love Dad)
P.S. There are many wonderful ways to develop individual Bible studies and prayer time with God. It’s also important to have the support and encouragement of a small group or of an individual study partner.
If there’s anything I can do to help you move forward on these activities (perhaps recommend a Bible translation to use, or even establish individual time together – by phone or email if we are geographically separated), please let me know as it would be my privilege to help if I can.
2/23/17 reprint from orig publication of 2/14/05
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