When we first got married, we owned a rust-colored Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. It was a large car, which was fairly typical for the 80’s. The thing about that car is that it had a terrible blind spot. The back windows were just tiny and there was a large area that made it hard to see if a car was coming. Very hard. So one day, as I came to a stop sign at a “Y”, I looked both ways. I pulled out and almost instantly heard a great crash. When it was all over, I had hit a car – a brand new red sports car the driver had just picked up. Needless to say she, understandably, was absolutely furious with me. It was one of the worst feelings in the world. I never saw her or her bright red car.
Blind spots are the worst. After that, I took even greater care making sure that I looked both ways and I never did have an accident again (in that car, at least!) Blind spots are not just in cars, either. We often see blind spots in people, too. Everyone sees a very noticeable issue in someone’s life, but the person with the issue just can’t see it. It may be a naughty or precocious child or a teenager that parents think is perfect (children seem to often be our blind spot, don’t they?) But it could also be a streak of anger or self-indulgence or rebellion that the person can’t see in themselves, but is glaringly obvious to everyone else. It may be a lack of discipline in finances or eating or drinking, that someone is blinded to think is under control, even though everyone around them knows it is not. It may even be how someone views God’s Word – as if they are the authority and whatever they believe it to say is “truth”, giving no heed to historical Christianity or the interpretation of godly men. They are blinded by their own arrogance and pride.
Blind spots can cause a lot of problems. We don’t want to speak and offend. And, oftentimes, if we do – in the case of dear family members and friends – they can’t see it, anyway, and it just causes a rift in the relationship. So I am not here to write about the blind spots of others but, instead, about our own blind spots. How do we make sure we aren’t hindered and hurting others by our own blind spots? How do we make sure to live a life pleasing to the Lord despite the inevitable blind spots?
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Ask the Lord to show you any area where you may be blinded. Ask Him to make it clear to you if you are not seeing your children, or your faults, or His Word with clarity and accuracy. I have prayed this prayer many a time. Sometimes I didn’t really like the answer! Sometimes the truth hurts. But, in the long run, it hurts a lot less than living under false beliefs.
2. Stay in God’s Word. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) The Bible shows us where we are blind. If we read and study it, it pierces our soul with conviction. If we are listening to godly preaching, we are made aware of areas we need to grow. Only through keeping ourselves immersed in God’s Word, studying and listening to biblically solid and strong preaching and teaching are we challenged to keep growing in the faith.
3. When the Lord does show you a blind spot, be humble enough to accept it and then work to change it. It is so hard to be teachable, isn’t it? My first instinct is to lash out in a defensive spirit or blame others. But it is only by being teachable that we can become better people and grow more like Christ. And once we become aware of something (through prayer and God’s Word) it is much easier to recognize it when it crops up. For instance, I recognize, all these years later, that if I am tired or hormonal, I get very grumpy. I used to deny it (silly of me) and blame everyone else for my bad day, but now I am fully aware of this tendency and, while I still get grumpy, I am realistic about it’s origin and try my best to keep it short-lived. This is because I am looking at it realistically and with open eyes, instead of blindly blaming other people for what is my own problem.
Do you have a blind spot today? It is my guess that we all have them – even if they are not obvious to the world around us. Through prayer and God’s Word we can become aware of them and then the Holy Spirit will comfort and guide us as we work at changing and fixing problem areas. The Christian life is hard work, but the rewards are great. It is so important to keep this in mind, in our mega-instant world, as we continue to grow more like Christ in a very “anti-Christ” world.