Jesus’ Prescription for Spiritual Cataracts
What do we do if we see the corrupting effect of compromise at work in ourselves or those we know? Jesus’ prescription is painfully, mercifully brief: “Be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19). At a moment like this, we cannot trust how we feel. The Laodicean Christians, to whom Jesus addressed this exhortation, didn’t feel zealous. They were “lukewarm” (Revelation 3:15–16). They were worldly and self-satisfied and didn’t feel the urgency of their condition. Solution? Get urgent and repent.
The severe simplicity of this prescription is hopeful. Spiritual osteoporosis can be reversed, greyed vision can be healed, and much more quickly than we might think. The anesthetizing effects of compromise can dissipate quickly, like a man waking from a nap with the smelling salt of repentance.
As we mature and become more aware of the complexities of life, the effect this exhortation should have on us is a diminishing of immature self-righteousness and misplaced self-confidence, not the diminishing of our conviction about fundamental truths. The slow fires of aging should produce the tempering effect of a patient, gentle relentlessness, not the melting away of our moral muscle. We must lose our pride, not our nerve or our will.
Truth doesn’t grow grey with time. But our moral eyes can be dimmed by the cataracts of compromise. If we find that this darkening has happened, Jesus has good news for us: He has salve for our eyes that will help us see again (Revelation 3:18). And he will give it to the one who is zealous and repents.