What is Vision?

The word “vision” can be used in several different ways. We most often think of it as being able to see. However, it can also mean to have a perspective about the future based on wisdom. For example, most of the companies I worked for had a “vision statement.” This was the focus point for every major decision. Sometimes we also use vision to mean something that is seen. For example, in the Old Testament Joseph had a vision about his future. That is, he saw what was going to happen.

When ever I see the Five-Minute Friday word prompt, I think about idioms in the English language. These idioms tell things like the following: Something is valuable if it is the “apple of one’s eye.” To have a “bird’s eye view” is to see something where the pieces fit together in a way that you cannot see at the street level.

There are funny idioms that physically don’t sound like fun. To catch someone’s eye literally would be gross. To keep one’s eyes peeled or to have one’s eye on the ball would be equally disgusting and painful. Very few people want anything to be crying their eyes out.

The Lack of Vision Disaster

Losing physical sight is frightening. Lacking spiritual sight is deadly.

Perhaps the worst lack of vision has to do with things regarding faith. “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:18) is one such verse. Another is from King Solomon in Proverbs regarding thinking that means we know better than God does about anything pertaining to life. He said in Proverbs 3:7 “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.”

How to Identify a Follower of Jesus

This month I am spending more time in Solomon’s book with the title Ecclesiastes. It seems to be a real depressing book. But the book concludes, after analysis of many things “under the sun” that are just a “vapor”, with an interesting declaration that is “the end of the matter” in Eccl. 12:13:

“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” One commentator sheds some light on the meaning of “whole duty of man” that I found helpful. Benjamin Shaw (Ecclesiastes: Life in a Fallen World) says:

“The fear of God leads to the keeping of his commandments. ‘For this is the whole duty of man’ is how the KJV and other versions translate it. But that’s not really the sense. It is ‘for this is the all of man.’ The idea is that this is what makes man whole.” p.155

Christians, therefore, believe what God has said. They trust his vision over their own. When they obey God’s commandments, which mirror his character and Personhood, they are then imaging God. Back in Genesis God says we were created in his image. That is the vision we need to have. And that vision has to start with light. Jesus said he was that Light of the World.

Five Minute Friday

This post is part of the weekly Five-Minute Friday link-up.

All scripture passages are from the English Standard Version except as otherwise noted.