If we’re willing to admit it, many of us don’t like the idea that as human beings we tend to adopt the ideas and perceptions of what, and who, is around us. Most of us have heard the saying at some point in our lives, “Kids are like sponges”. If you have children or grandchildren, you probably know the truth behind this all too well. Kids tend to adopt the thoughts and attitudes of the people they’re around the most, for the better or for the worse. It’s monkey see monkey do, without much (if any) thought behind it.
As adults we like to think the same thing doesn’t happen to us. We like to think we’re more grounded in who we are, more mature, and as Westerners we like to think that each of us is unique in the way we think and behave. But as we become more established in our lives we remain like “sponges” as we were as children, but we tend to only allow ourselves to absorb what we agree with as we get older, and we harden our hearts towards what we don’t agree with. The knowledge we often allow into our mind tends to only be the knowledge we personally agree with, that is normal to us, and so we strain out everything else.
There’s this interesting phenomenon called osmosis. Not the water kind, but in a metaphorical sense it means “the process of a gradual or unconscious assimilation of ideas, knowledge, etc.” Meaning that throughout the course of our lives, without even realizing it, we take in, we absorb, we assimilate into our minds the ideas, attitudes, and behaviors of the culture we’re surrounded by, and it becomes part of who we are. A pattern in our way of thinking, and since we’re so accustomed to it, it makes it difficult to see things differently than we’ve always seen them.
But as a believer in Jesus, I see the devil hard at work here, distracting our modern society from what’s truly important for far too long. The political influence in our nation has become so ingrained in our way of thinking that we can be repulsed by something, even if it’s good, if it’s associated with an opposite way of thinking; we simply refuse to believe it.
Our political beliefs have become part of who we are; the lens through which we see the world, and it causes us to stop seeing the truths we don’t personally agree with. If this doesn’t seem true, ask two like-minded people why they believe some of the things they believe, and they will likely say the same things. This is simply because we as Americans tend to surround ourselves with what supports our view, and we eliminate any opposing truth from our minds, and even our vocabulary!
This is not entirely unlike the way humans have always done things. In Matthew 13:15, Jesus says, “For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.”
See Jesus understood that man has always had this problem of only hearing and seeing what we want to. It is a part of who we are, that thing called osmosis that subconsciously inserts the ideas and norms of our culture into our way of thinking. But we should never shrink back from questioning what we’ve learned. We should never be afraid to think outside the box. We should never be afraid to lay everything out on the table, and even question the norms and values and ideas that have been ingrained in us since before we can remember.
The truth Jesus was talking about above is the truth that only He could save them from their sins. And He can save you, too, if you’re willing to accept it.
It is the truth of the gospel that the devil has blinded our eyes to and is distracting our nation from, and as our hearts remain hardened, we will remain blind. In 2009 God opened my eyes to the truth of Jesus Christ, and He can do the same for you too. Will you accept it?
So the short question and answer to the title of this article, “Why can’t we see?” is this, “Because our eyes are closed!”