In the 19th century, Robert Ingersoll was a famed speaker and agnostic. He would give popular speeches on why he doubted the existence of God. Before one crowd he read a letter he recently received from an old friend.
In the letter his friend went on to discuss getting married, becoming a father, and losing everything to alcohol.
One night he passed out in the street, and was taken in by some kind people who helped him become sober. They told him that Jesus could help him overcome his addiction, and they helped him make a new start.
In the letter he challenged Ingersoll to reconsider his beliefs, recounting that his new faith saved his family, his marriage, and set him free from alcoholism.
Ingersoll paused after reading the letter to the crowd. He then proclaimed he could speak no ill will against the power of a faith such as this. He said he could find no fault in Christ. What he did find troubling though he would say, is people who do not practice what they preach. To those types of people he would say, were his speeches directed.
Paul states, “Whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is removed” (2 Corinthians 3:16). The veil he is referencing has shades of meanings, but the primary thought here is to spiritual blindness.
The blindness here is being unable to see that one needs a savior, in thinking that by self effort one can somehow be perfect by trying hard enough to please God. Paul says there is another way to live, one that is effortless, one that is about freedom. It is in seeing that not one is or can be perfect, and in realizing that in Christ we don’t have to be because grace is greater than all our sin.
Paul goes on to say that only in Christ is the veil removed, and when it is, the spiritually blind can now see. They can see that their sins are forgiven, they can see that God has their best interests at heart, but most of all they can see that they don’t have to keep struggling to be good enough or religious enough, they can simply rest in knowing that Jesus forgives, he changes us, he lives in us, and he sets us on a rock that is higher.
When we have sight like that, then we will practice what we preach, because we will take our eyes off of our self, and simply see Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.