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Clarity - The Virtue of Radiance



1 Corinthians 13:12

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.


I want to speak on the virtue of clarity this week. We define clarity as the quality of being clear, transparent, and easily understood, and this quality applies to vision, hearing, thoughts, styles, communication, and other areas. Some of the classifications carry their own word, yet they are still in the family of clarity.


The concept of clarity is referenced many times in the Bible. In our opening verse, Paul is referring to the time when Christ awakens within our hearts, and we live through our spiritual nature purely. We see things now, as human beings, imperfectly; things are blurred. Not just our vision, but ideas, thoughts, judgments, and conclusions are flawed and indistinct.  


It is God’s light that brings clarity to all areas of our lives.  Psalm 119:18 reads - Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions. It is when Spirit opens our eyes that we can truly see the lessons we are facing in life. Clarity is the virtue of radiance, and Christ has come to bring God’s light to our lives. Clarity is the gift that allows us to perceive reality unclouded by bias and illusion; we can see through our own eyes, untainted by the opinions and influences of others.


When our minds are clear we discern the deeper spiritual essence of things—their beauty, purpose, and interconnectedness, not just what the world tells us is important: the transitory and superficial – its size, shape, cost, and benefit to us. Clarity reveals truth, dispelling the fog of uncertainty and revealing the path toward decency and uprightness. 


The concept of clarity as it applies to our practical intelligence and wise judgments is called acumen. Clarity in terms of acute discernment and profound understanding is referred to as perspicacity. The more important a concept is, the more words we have created to differentiate its nuances. Clarity is important.  


Clarity brings peace and stillness. In the stillness, the ripples of doubt subside and the storms calm.  1 Corinthians 14:33 teaches, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” Clarity emerges from divine order and trust in God brings peace and understanding, dispelling confusion.


Our words hold immense power. Clarity in speech fosters understanding and connection. Proverbs 16:24 teaches that, “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” Clarity of communication is called perspicuity. It is an important subset of clarity especially regarding our understanding and sharing of information, all information, including even the understanding of the Bible.


Several shortcomings can prevent us from sharing and receiving information clearly. These include a general distrust of people, personal biases, cultural misconceptions and differences, engrained traditions, an incomplete perspective, and indifference. Some people just are not interested in anything others have to say.


Proverbs 1:5-7 instructs this: “Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles. Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” To ‘fear the Lord’ means to revere and respect God; to stand in awe of God’s majesty, wisdom, and mercy.  If we do not seek knowledge from the informed sources, we are harming others when we share our words.


We can use clarity to unveil our life purpose. Attuning our minds and hearts to Christ will clarify why we are here; it infuses purpose into our existence. A ship without a clear course drifts aimlessly; a life without purpose limps weakly.  In God we can seek clarity in our calling, our passions, and our relationships.    


A powerful deterrent to clarity is distraction. We must beware the fog that busyness creates; it steals our days and casts shadows over clarity. Distractions can multiply like weeds, and it is our choices of behavior that create them.


Even within church we create distractions for ourselves and others. We choose to ask our seatmate a question during church. Do we know when Spirit is going to whisper a truth to our soul between the words of the talk or the notes of the songs? But if we are carrying on a conversation, we not only distract ourselves, but the others around us. This is the reason we turn off our cell phones during church – they distract us from the word of God, and worse, we distract the others around us from hearing what their soul needs to hear. Distraction destroys clarity.


There are a few things we can do to develop God’s gift of clarity. It is not a destination, but a transformative journey that requires attention, practice, and self-awareness. Strategies to cultivate clarity include clearing clutter from our personal environment. Chaos and disorder lead to mental fog. A mess-free home and workspace promote clear thinking.


For more clarity in our life, let us clearly define what truly matters to us. What do we care about? Decisions are simple when we know where we are going. Are our decisions aligning with our core values? Are they taking us where we want to go?


Although multitasking may sound like it can save time, it   fragments attention and blurs clarity. More effectively, we can immerse ourselves fully in the task at hand. When writing, we write, when doing the dishes, we do the dishes.


Already mentioned, eliminate distractions. Turn off notifications on our devices. Even small distractions take time to recover from. Recognize that most distractions are self-imposed—take control and minimize them, not only for ourselves but for others.


For optimum clarity we must nourish our mind, body, and soul. Focus on eating well. Fuel our brain with natural foods, reducing reliance on caffeine and sugar. Move the body and exercise regularly. Practice quietude—praying, meditating, or simply sitting in silence daily to clear mental chatter.


Many people find clarity through writing their thoughts down. Spend a few minutes each day writing. If we are clear, jot it down; if not, write about the confusion. Some people find that writing out distractions helps them uncover clarity underneath it all.


Don’t fear change and newness. Embrace experimentation. Try new habits, routines, or lifestyle changes. Learn through experience. Wake up early, cut out certain foods, or explore distraction-free practices. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 says, “But test everything; hold fast what is good.” Clarity involves discernment. We test and evaluate, holding onto what aligns with the truth of our core values.


Last, let us put our heart’s desires into action. After deciding what is important to us, chase it, pursue it, move towards it. Move your feet in the direction your heart leads. We have heard the expression: pray like it all depends upon God; work like it all depends upon us. Action often precedes clarity.


It is my prayer that we will follow this journey toward expanded clarity. I pray the Light of God illuminates our path and removes any shadows surrounding our hearts and minds. Let us be patient with ourselves, stay curious, and engaged. I pray that we carry the torch of clarity, shining its radiance upon our choices, relationships, and endeavors.


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