If a person does not see his own sins, it does not mean that he is holy. It means that he is not only sinning, but also is in spiritual blindness. These insightful words are from a 20th century Russian priest Fr. Nikon Vorobev who lived an exemplary life during the Soviet years of religious oppression.
What is Spiritual Blindness
Millions of people consider themselves righteous. They think they don’t steal, they don’t kill, they go to church, they give alms, they pray and thus they are good people. Many of them probably think they have already secured a three-bedroom corner situated apartment in heaven. But it’s not so.
“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance,” says our Lord Jesus Christ in Luke 5:32. And we know that repentance and salvation are not a one time experience, but rather an ever continuing process during this life.
We think we don’t kill, but we lie. We do not steal, but we gossip. We go to church, but we envy others. We give alms, but we are egoistically proud people. Ever heard of seven deadly sins?
List of The 7 Deadly Sins:
- Envy – the desire to have an item or experience that someone else possesses
- Gluttony – excessive ongoing consumption of food or drink
- Greed or Avarice – an excessive pursuit of material possessions
- Lust – an uncontrollable passion or longing, especially for sexual desires
- Pride – excessive view of one’s self without regard to others.
- Sloth – excessive laziness or the failure to act and utilize one’s talents
- Wrath – uncontrollable feelings of anger and hate towards another person
Notice that all of these sins are internal ones and related to our thoughts and inner self.
“The first sign of a healing soul is the seeing of own sins like a sand on a beach,” says one of the greatest saints of the Christian Church St. Peter of Damascus. As long as you don’t see your own sins, you have nothing to repent for. This is called a spiritual blindness. But when you earnestly desire to keep the commandments of God then you realize that you fail many times and you are not what God wants you to be. There is where the true repentance comes in. At this point, one gets out of the spiritual blindness and sees his own sins like a sand on a beach.