"Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit."
-- Matthew 15:14
An a-ha moment is that split second when one's eyes are opened to a spiritual truth that changes everything. As Christ-followers, we can have an a-ha when God shows us that we're going down the wrong path in some area of our life. Then it's up to us to respond and turn in the right direction.
Then there's the ultimate a-ha: when non-believers finally awaken to their need for Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. That's not just a temporary revelation--it's eternal. When God's light gets through, we can finally see. But unfortunately, the world still chooses to remain blind and enjoy the darkness of its existence. In fact, if you're a Believer who's open about your faith, the world won't ignore you. Instead, it will likely accuse you of intolerance or bigotry. Just watch TV, surf the Web or read a magazine. You don't have to look hard to find articles, blogs or videos featuring Hollywood celebrities or "progressive" thinkers who point their fingers at "narrow-minded Christians" and use the dreaded "i-word."
But depending on its context, is intolerance always a bad thing? After all, Jesus doesn't turn a blind eye to sin. What's more, he declares Himself to be the exclusive pathway to God.
"I am the way, the truth and the life," we read in John's Gospel. "No one comes to the Father except through me."
That's not very tolerant of him. And his bold proclamation defies today's inclusive, politically correct environment. After all, it hurts feelings and declares that one faith is better than all others. But society's demands for so-called open-mindedness and equality are irrelevant. Jesus has no tolerance for false, second-rate gods and allegiances.
As Christ-followers, we have open access to God's truth through the Bible, prayer and even wise counsel from fellow Believers. We should therefore have less trouble than others with telling right from wrong. But actually doing so is another matter. And that opens us up--and often rightfully so--to charges of self-righteousness and hypocrisy. That's because the world is watching and comparing our Sunday morning words to our weekday deeds.
This puts Christ-followers in a predicament. Since God has revealed his truth to us, it's easy for us to point fingers at others. But when we do, our other four fingers point right back at us.
Let's all take a look in the mirror. Are our words, thoughts and actions beyond reproach? Jesus was right on the mark when he said we must remove the plank from our own eye before we can remove the speck from our neighbor's eye. Is that would-be "sinner" someone who needs God's truth...or is he or she already a Christ-follower? On the other hand, maybe they never signed up for Jesus' walk of faith in the first place.
The answers to these questions should determine our response. Meanwhile, Christ-followers must hold themselves to a higher standard and let God be the judge of others outside the faith. He knows the whole story, and we're hardly in the position to condemn anyone.
Let's not turn a blind eye to this a-ha moment.