1 Samuel 8 3But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice. 4So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”
Jeremiah 7 9Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, 10and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things? 11Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching!” declares the Lord.
These two Scriptures are reminders of how dishonest we can become when God is not active in our lives. One of the healthiest practices in our human experience is to be honest. We live in a world that is run by lies, and I mean lies are everywhere. They are in politics, commercials, education, and even the church. It is very difficult to find honesty today. Honesty means you tell the truth, and truth is threatening to our way of life. I have coined the phrase, Christianity is Dangerous, because it can change your life, and it can change the world around us.
The Scripture is noted for identifying blind spots in our lives. Throughout the Old Testament, God was notorious for pointing out the blind spots that lead His people away from Him. He warned about the gods of foreign women, idols, converging other gods into Judaism, and following the customs of the nations that surrounded them. All blind spots kept the truth at a distance and promoted the lies of the moment. Satan is a god of entrapment. It’s like he has an algorithm on how you think, what weaknesses you have, and what things you prefer. He uses that information to tease and test your beliefs, hoping you will suspend your faith for a season, and get hooked on the things you really desire and want. His hope is that in time you will abandon God all together and enjoy the fruits of sin for a season or even the rest of your life. This is the ultimate problem with blind spots … they give the devil an opportunity to use a tempting algorithm to get you into sin.
The New Testament is a series of letters written by several of the Apostles who wrote to churches about their blind spots. They instructed followers of Christ to perfect their faith by developing a moral and committed lifestyle that honors God and tells the story of Jesus to everyone in daily life. These Apostles wrote by the inspiration of God to point out the blind spots that were keeping people stuck in sin and failing to live out the victory brought about the death of Christ on the Cross. We normally refer to the Epistles as instructions on righteous living where the Apostles point out the blind spots that need to be revealed for change to take place. Without instruction, people are less prone to change and be challenged to live a better life in Christ.
One of the concepts that has changed my life in recent years is the idea of self-awareness. It has helped me know my strengths and my weakness, and self-awareness will directly confront the blind spots in our lives. I feel most people are not comfortable about hearing about their blind spots. Why is that? Because it is extremely humbling and threatening to your personal private space of being a human. Few people like to hear about themselves in the negative because that’s depressing. We love the praise and honor about who we are, but don’t go over to the dark side of the blind spots. Coaches are great examples of catching the blind spots in their athletes. They watch how they play the game, and then see all the changes that are needed to be made to make them more competitive.
Recently, I listened to a podcast where the interviewer talked to his therapist. I immediately thought was a pretty gutsy move. However, throughout the interview it was apparent this therapist was much like a coach who would identify areas that were being ignored; his patient (the interviewer) was burying negative feelings, only to find that all of that hidden stuff became the blind spots that were keeping him from moving forward. What I learned from that podcast was that therapy isn’t so much about the crazy thoughts of mental illness, it is more about identifying the blind spots of engrained habits, even to the point of addictions and immoral behaviors.
A trusted small group of friends could be the therapy you need. Being honest before caring and spiritually-minded people is probably as good as any professional therapist. Many of us have blind spots about the relationships in our lives. If we are lucky, we realize at some point in our life that good relationships are the gold, silver, and precious gems in life. Material treasures are temporary, but a trustworthy lifelong friend makes you rich throughout your life.
Honest and trustworthy friends must be honest and caring. Honesty and caring go hand in hand … like love and truth. Simply criticizing someone for the sake of honesty is not caring, but honesty in love is a value that could bring about changes that could create a new paradigm in one’s life. Caring should come first because it will identify the intensity with which you present the truth about the blind spots you see in another person. If you don’t start with caring, you will only become a blaster of the truth … much like firing a shotgun, they won’t hear anything that is being said, and it will leave them feeling like they are worthless. Blind spots need to be identified in all of us, but how they get revealed is the tricky part in any relationship. It’s like when a wife asks her husband, “Does this dress make me look fat?”
Having wisdom to know how to talk to others about their blinds spots takes some practice and it takes a heart that is full of love. People you know who love you are sometimes the best places to start because there is less chance you will lose them as a friend. Learn to listen and not be defensive or argumentative about the honesty surrounding a blind spot. Blind spots are just that … you don’t see them. So, people who do see them are your therapists who can have conversations about those blind spots and how they are affecting your life. Many times, blind spots turn up as unforgiving acts due to circumstances, but unforgiveness, no matter the reason, will develop an angry, resentful heart within you.
So, here are my recommendation on blind spots:
1. Contact a trusted therapist who understands faith.
2. Develop a trusted relationship with a family member or good friend who will keep you accountable to the changes you want to make in you and in your family.
3. Develop an honest platform where your convictions on truth rule your heart. These will be the filters that will test the direction in your life.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler