Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words
Positively traumatic. I don’t know another way to describe it. Sure, I knew about the gentle receding of hair on my forehead—or “sixhead,” as my good friend Dean Murphy recently called it. However, nothing prepared me for “the picture.” Sure, I’ve had people, even recently, noting the thinning of my hair on top. I found the noting of that irritating and even, at times, amusing. But, the stark, unflinching, and brutally honest photo was utterly convicting. There, in living color, was my immutably glabrous cranium. OK. My bald spot. I have no idea how long I’ve walked around sporting this condensed coif, but I can see it now… every time I look at that picture.
That blind spot was more vain than dangerous. There are situations in life where a blind spot can be more serious. Driving down the highway, we may miss another vehicle that is in our blind spot—not visible in our rearview mirrors but still most definitely there. But the far more common blind spots of our lives have to do with what we cannot, do not, or choose not to see.
It is easy for us to see the faults of others, their sins of attitude, speech, and action. We marvel that they seem oblivious to them. After all, we see it all so clearly. Yet, in our own lives, we may not be seeing clearly. We do not realize how unfriendly we appear to others, how self-promoting, how braggadocios, how sarcastic, how unhelpful, how harsh, or how suggestive our words and deeds appear to others. Solomon notes that “all the ways of a man are clean in his own sight” (Prov. 16:2a). Relying on others to tell us is really not fair to them. After all, they must navigate around and through their own blind spots on the commutes of their daily lives.
Paul helps us identify these social and spiritual blindspots. He writes, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves” (2 Cor. 13:5). The best way to actively view our lives is through the mirror of God’s Word (cf. Jas. 1:23). As we look closely and carefully into it, we see ourselves better. How vital that we get a better view of how our own lives impact others, for good or ill! This is about more than vanity. This has more serious far-reaching implications. May the Lord give us the courage to see our blind spots and the strength to eliminate them.