55. Seeing Our Blindness

by Apr 8, 20242024

Being blind but not recognizing it, is a difficult kind of blindness. One might say the worst kind! When we recognize that we are not able to see something clearly, it makes for a much easier problem to solve. I’m not speaking about blindness of vision, but of what we have come to know as “blind spots” in the way we see ourselves and interpret life.

I believe it’s accurate to state that every one of us is blind to some things in our lives. How often our own personal filters shape our realities! It’s important to note how a filter works. In short, it changes the appearance of something, and in some instances, quite drastically.

What Do You See?

What is important to realize is that our own persuasions, as strong as they might be, can at times be wrong. Our logic, judgment, and beliefs can and do change through the years. This, along with our human limits, is why we must not consider our opinions as absolute or inerrant. They are simply opinions.

In John 9:41, the apostle John records a very profound statement. “If you were blind, Jesus told them, you wouldn’t have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.” Jesus made this statement in response to a group of Pharisees who asked if they were blind. In fact, more than once He mentioned that the “blind” will be made to see and those who see will become “blind”. The point, I believe, is for us to be aware lest we hold our own prejudices or ideas too tightly, such that we miss what is actually before us.

This often arises in relationships, when our own ideas of a wrong done to us, or a judgment we make on the justice of a certain circumstance, may not actually be as we think. If we are humble in these scenarios, we will welcome more dialogue and the possibility of gaining a different perspective. As we all know, if there are two parties in the same conversation, those two people can hear entirely different things. At times, there isn’t even agreement on the words that were used! Because we are emotional beings, we can often misinterpret what is said to us as well as the intent of the speaker.

“Seeing” with Humility

Here is an important principle. When we become stubborn and unwilling to admit that we might have heard or misinterpreted something wrong, we become rigid and arrogant. This, in turn, can result in unresolved conflicts. When we fail to consider that we might be wrong about something, it will lead to “blindness”. To use myself as an example, I have, at times, thought very strongly about something only to learn later that what I thought I saw or heard was not accurate. It’s important for each of us to recognize our imperfections. We must accept that we won’t always see things clearly and that we can be mistaken.

In a previous podcast we mentioned the importance of apologizing. I will only say briefly that if apologizing is not occurring in your life, it is likely you have some blind spots. I say this with all respect, yet with the knowledge that all of us sin. We all jump to conclusions, fail to hear well, and allow our emotions and passions to blind us from seeing certain things accurately. In contrast, humility is such a beautiful thing! It allows for openness to differing views, and a willingness to embrace the possibility of being wrong. It keeps us open to accepting that we have seen or heard something inaccurately. I find that in almost every conflict in which I’ve been involved, I am seldom 100% right about everything. In fact, it’s quite rare!

Our pride and the need to be right can be such detriments to solving or reconciling differences. We need God’s help to keep us from blindness. To keep us from thinking our own interpretation of things is always the right one.

Will you pray this prayer with me? Father, help me to recognize my own frailties and brokenness and the blindness that results. Please help me to have the desire to always be open to truth, even when it requires me to admit to my own error. May I be marked by humility and hunger to become better at everything I say and do. Amen.