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Pointers along the way #537

Our blind spots
- Jacob Ninan

When we drive a car, even when we look through the rear view mirrors, there are angles we can't see, and sometimes we are shocked when other cars appear by our side which we hadn't seen coming. These 'blind spots' are there because parts of the car's body and the view in the mirrors leave some areas uncovered. Another serious challenge we face is that we all have blind spots in our mind, areas where we aren't able to see some faults other people see in our lives. These exist because we naturally don't like to see anything wrong with us and our sin-corrupted mind automatically helps us to avoid the pain we will get if we look at our faults.

When someone tells us our fault, whether in love or anger, it's a good opportunity for us to clear up a part of these blind spots. But what do we do instead? We tell them it's not true. We aren't being dishonest, but because this is our blind spot we are simply unable to see that we have such a fault. The same thing happens even if a thought comes into our mind that suggests something could be wrong with us. Our response happens automatically, without our thinking, because this is a part of our sinful nature. Another thing we do is to think about what we heard about us, and justify ourselves by finding out reasons why we had to behave in that way or by telling ourselves how other people misunderstand us. Sometimes we go beyond this and attack the other person for 'accusing' us, blaming us, finding fault with us in an area where (we think) we are innocent! God says, "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel" (Pr.12:15).

If we don't recognise this and take deliberate steps to overcome our natural (sin tainted) tendencies to protect ourselves, our blind spots will remain and become more hardened.

Have we thought about how our bad behaviour can hurt others? They may get hurt as a direct result of our sinful behaviour. But some may also get put off from God because we claim to be His representatives and we not only refuse to accept our faults but we also shoot the messenger. There are instances where God sent 'prophets' to warn people who are going astray, and these prophets are punished for their audacity (2Ch.16:9,10). Isn't it true that many times we don't recognise the 'prophets' God sends to warn us?

When we say we want to become like Jesus don't we first have to recognise and acknowledge areas where we are unlike Jesus? God shows that to us sometimes as we read His word or listen to a message. But sometimes it comes to us from other people who are hurt because of us or who observe our failures. Some may want to help us, and others may want to find fault with us. But if we really want to become like Jesus don't we need to receive this 'feedbak'? Our self-protective nature will start acting if we don't focus deliberately on getting feedback.

When we do things in ignorance, God is merciful to us (Ro.5:13). But let's remember there are consequences to every wrong thing we do.


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