Sunday, December 11, 2005

Blind Spots

Why can we not find our keys when they are in plain sight on our desk? Because we already decided they were not there. Once we make that decision, we create a blind spot in our awareness. The result is that we don’t see the keys where we don’t expect them to be.

Could we be blind to other things that are right under our nose?
What else could we be missing?

By the very nature of how we are raised, we develop blind spots. These blind spots interfere as we look at life and often prevent us from seeing. They include attitudes and assumptions that distort our perception.

We are suggestible, usually much more than we realize. Whether we admit it or not, we are affected by our environment, our culture, and the opinions of others. Our view of reality can be skewed, sometimes dramatically.

The funny thing about blind spots is that we can see other people's just fine.

Can't that person see how they are behaving?
Don't they know how they are coming across to others?

No, they don't know how they are coming across to others.
They have a blind spot.

Spiritual pride is a sneaky thing, especially because it is most visible from a distance, and it is often corporate. Spiritual pride shakes its head sadly at all those poor, misinformed, and mislead people.

Jonathan Edwards had this to say about spiritual pride:

Spiritual pride commonly occasions a certain stiffness and inflexibility in persons, in their own judgment and their own way. Spiritual pride is very apt to suspect others.

The spiritually proud person is apt to find fault with other saints, that they are low in grace; and to be much in observing how cold and dead they are; and being quick to discern and take notice of their deficiencies.

Whereas an humble saint is most jealous of himself, he is so suspicious of nothing in the world as he is of his own heart. The eminently humble Christian has so much to do at home . . . that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts.

Pride is much more difficult to discern than any other corruption because, by nature, pride is a person having too high a thought of himself.

Is it any surprise, then, that a person who has too high a thought of himself is unaware of it? He thinks the opinion he has of himself is justified and therefore is not too high.

As a result, there is no other matter in which the heart is more deceitful and unsearchable. The very nature of it is to produce self-confidence and drive away any accusation concerning itself.

A lack of dogmatism seems to be one of the biggest complaints against the emerging church. Yet the people who accuse us of being unwilling to stand for truth may not understand our reasons.
The recognition of my spiritual blindness and spiritual pride when I was at the height of self-confidence in my spiritual walk brought me brokenness and what I hope will be enduring humility.

The awareness of my ability to be absolutely wrong in the midst of my attempt and desire to be right has hopefully made me more gracious to others, wherever they happen to be spiritually.

Sometime I want to become defensive when I see entire groups of people slandered and written off with blanket accusations. I have to restrain myself from pointing out how unreasonable the criticism of emerging people is at times.

Often I find myself shaking my head, thinking, "you don't even know me."

Then I remind myself, "but for the grace of God......"

"Lord help me to have a teachable spirit. Keep me from thinking I have ever arrived. Help me to stay humbly turned towards you."

9 comments:

bobbie said...

these thoughts echo many i've been having lately.

i like the metaphor of blindspots.

i know i have many, i just wish i could find a way to reveal them that wasn't so very painful! :)

Aj Schwanz said...

Thank you for your post.

Graham Cooke tells a story where a friend said to him, "If I had a blind spot, would you tell me?" Graham replied, "No. But I'd move into that blind spot so you wouldn't come to harm." I guess it's reassuring that we are all blind in some way, but it can help build stronger bonds between each other - to offer the Light of Christ that's in us to others - to move into someone's weakness.

Regina Clare Jane said...

What a great post, grace... this echoes exactly some things going on in my litle world. Why can't people just get along? Why can't Christians accept other Christians? And why can't follwers of the Lord, Jesus, who loved everyone no matter what, do likewise? It's time for all this nonsense to stop.

grace said...

bobbie,
I've found that when God reveals the blind spots, it is the best way, although still painful. Seems like along with His shining a light on things, He also provides the grace to change.

aj,
I loved the example by Graham. That is what love would do.

Regina,
It would be nice if we started by believing the best in one another, wouldn't it.

Scott said...

awesome post grace. hits a little close to home.

grace said...

Thanks scott.

rich said...

Oh wow, we've been discussing blindspots in our group. I gotta take some of this back to them. thanks!!

David Cho said...

Great post, grace.

I can related. When I was in John MacArthur's church, I was blinded despite what others had to say. I can definitely relate to everything that you have to say.

grace said...

Thanks rich and david. I'm glad you liked it.