Are you tired of being sick and tired of life?
It is possible to live a life of abundance and freedom, but it’s not a quick fix. Life on earth is too short to miss out on the joy that the Word of God promises.
Through the Word of God, I have discovered the principles that lead to the fullness of joy. Happiness is based on our circumstances. Joy is possible even when the circumstances of life are not positive.
Each week I will share some of those principles God has taught me through a blog and videos. I also will share some of the funny things that have happened through my life that have kept me laughing, at times, even at myself. “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Church” shares stories about raising kids, serving in churches, and relationships.
My Story, His Glory
That’s the whole focus of Transformed Living. Transformation is possible. Let’s find it together.
Have you ever noticed that there are certain spots on our body that we cannot see called “blind spots”? The area on our forehead is a blind spot. The space between our shoulder blades is another area that we cannot physically see with our own eyes. It is just out of our sight. Everyone else sees it clearly but we are totally blind to it.
Everyone has them
We all have this in common. We all have blind spots. There is not a single person on the planet exempt from having them. There have been many times when someone fixed my shirt collar or dusted off my back because I didn’t know there was a problem. Without help, I could have been embarrassed because of something I was not even aware was happening.
Good friends help us with our blind spots. They see them and help us become aware of the problem so we can fix it. Sometimes we need their assistance to correct the problem for us. That’s what makes them a good friend.
Those who want to laugh at us or gain an advantage because of a blind spot are not friends. One day the light will shine on their blind spot too. I think I may know what it is….
I remember seeing kids pick on other kids in high school. The “cool” kid would put his arm around the selected victim and carry on a conversation. He was using this maneuver to stick a sign on the back of his intended target. The sign would read something like “kick me” or “I wet the bed”. Everyone else got a good laugh at the expense of another kid. It was pretty embarrassing for the one with the sign on his back. He had no idea he was the reason everyone was laughing.
We all have physical blind spots. The same is true in the other areas of our life. We can have blind spots in our character or spiritual life as well. There can be attitudes or behaviors we exhibit that are offensive to others or annoying that we are not aware has that effect. We are blind to it completely.
The Bible is full of characters we consider mighty men of God who exhibited blind spots just like us. What can we learn about blind spots from some of these characters and how we can deal with them?
Abraham had issues with his family. Giving in to pressure from his wife to have a child, he had a child with a concubine. (Genesis 16) That child, Ishmael, became a constant irritant to the son of promise, Israel. In another situation, he lied about his relationship with his wife, Sarai, so the Egyptians would not kill him to take her. (Genesis 20) Abraham, the father of faith, struggled throughout his life with fear.
Moses, the great deliverer of God’s people, had a problem with anger. He knew that God’s destiny was for him to set the Israelites free from Egyptian slavery. There came a day when he saw an Egyptian abusing an Israelite slave, so Moses lost his temper and killed the Egyptian. (Exodus 2:11-15) He tried to accomplish God’s plan in his own strength and spent forty years hiding from the Egyptians in a desert. After years leading God’s people, it was the same old problem with anger that kept Moses from entering the promised land. (Numbers 20:6-13)
Other Heroes of Faith
The list of great men of God who also struggled is lengthy. Samson, the mighty deliverer and warrior, was brought low by his blind spot of pride. (Judges 16:23-30) Saul, the first king of Israel, started his reign with such humility, but ended with tragedy because of personal weakness. (1 Samuel 31). Young David replaced Saul as King of Israel. He was called a man after God’s heart but still he had a blind spot that brought about both personal and national tragedy. The Lord sent the Prophet Nathan to confront David and exposed his blind spot telling David, “Thou art the man.” (2 Samuel 12:1-15).
Peter’s Blind Spot
Cephas,a fisherman, was one of the most important and unique characters of the early church. He is better known as Simon Peter and is one of the central personalities of Christ’s followers. Peter was always mentioned in the closest of relationships with Jesus. He was the man chosen by God to initiate the gospel message when the church was birthed on the day of Pentecost. Peter was also the first one entrusted with introducing the gospel to the non-Jewish people. He also had a blind spot.
The Down Side
Jesus rebuked Peter sternly for his unbelief and misunderstanding of God’s plan. “Get behind me Satan” will forever be linked to Peter and his compulsiveness. (Matthew 16:21-23) The voice of God from heaven quieted the exuberant Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration. (Matthew 17:1-8) Peter was the first disciple to stand up and declare that he would die before he would deny Christ. Jesus prophesied Peter would fail not once but three times when the opportunity to stand for Christ came. (Matthew 26:31-35) Peter was the one in the Garden of Gethsemane who pulled a sword, cutting off the ear of one the High Priest’s servants. Jesus healed the man’s ear before being arrested. (John18:10,11) He was one of the first disciples to announce the return to his old profession after the death of Christ. He told the others, “I’m going fishing.” (John 21:1-11)
The Up Side
Peter was just like many of us. He had a real knack for putting his foot in his mouth. I had a pastor tell me one time, “Not everything that comes into your mind needs to come out of your mouth.” He was compulsive and impulsive. The problem is this was a weakness but also had a positive side. Peter was the only disciple to obey the Lord by getting out of the boat and walking on water. (John 6:16-20). When Christ asked his followers, “Who do the people say that I am?, Peter answered boldly, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” (Matthew 16:16) He was bold on the Day of Pentecost to proclaim the gospel to all of Jerusalem. (Acts 2) Peter was the one selected by God to introduce the good news of salvation to the house of Cornelius, a Roman centurion. This signified Christ came to be savior of all men, not just the Jewish people. (Acts 10)
Paul and Peter
Paul and Peter are probably the two most influential followers of Christ in the New Testament. Peter spent three years with Christ as a disciple. Paul encountered the risen Christ while on his way to Damascus to place Christians there under arrest for the Jewish leaders. (Acts 9) These men were anointed by God to do the work of an evangelist and apostle. Each one is responsible for multiple books of the Bible. Their legacy continues through those of us who follow Christ today because of their faith in Christ.
Paul was not one to simply accommodate or overlook a blind spot in another brother, especially a man like Peter. He writes of a time when he had to confront Peter in Galatia because Peter was acting hypocritically. He was more concerned about what people thought about him than he was about how the Lord viewed him. (Galatians 2:9-16) The truth is Peter did not act this way intentionally. He probably was not even aware how his behavior was perceived while he was doing it. It was a blind spot.
Our Problem too
Only God can truly reveal a blind spot to someone. Most of the time, He chooses to use people like you and me to be His agent of revelation. We have the dual responsibility of dealing with our own blind spots once made aware and helping others become aware of the blind spot in their life. That’s why it is part of the Christian walk for each of us to learn how to walk in humility toward others. A pastor advised me that leadership in the church required the skill of tossing velvet-covered bricks into glass houses. Tricky task.
People are easily offended but helping them to see a blind spot is essential. It’s like cleaning a wound before stitching it closed. It hurts a lot for the patient and it’s not much fun for the caregiver either, but it is necessary for us to deal with these areas of our life effectively.
The first responsibility is always to deal with the speck in our own eye before trying to remove a log from our friend’s eye. True humility starts right there. I believe as long as we are willing for God to show us these areas in our life, He will continue to show us and help us to overcome. When we refuse to acknowledge the problem and refuse His help, we are headed for a fall.
I see three things that we need to do when dealing with blind spots in our life and the life of others:
Confront the Problem
Many believers think it is their calling to confront every wrong they see in others. There should not be joy in confronting others. The goal is the edification of every believer. Our responsibility is confronting another the way we want to be confronted. Sometimes it may result in an embarrassing situation, but usually it can be done in a time of private communication. Nathan, The Prophet ,was sent by God to rebuke King David for his sin of adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband. God used Nathan’s words to show David the error of his ways and cause him to repent and turn back to God with all his heart.
God is using these blind spots we see in others to remind us we are not perfect people either. Always confront another person with humility and love. The words you share will be received much better and God’s work accomplished in both of you involved. We can always learn a lesson from these situations, no matter which role you fill.
Cover the Person
Peter writes “love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:7-9) We are to bear one another’s burdens, thereby fulfilling the law of Christ. Sometimes our brother or sister needs our assistance to cover this blind spot in their life so God can truly reveal it to them. I learned to ask those who confronted me to pray for me because I did not see what they were seeing in my life. I believed what they said could be true, but I could not see it myself. It was a blind spot.
Sometimes we have to wrap our arms around our friend. This does not mean to excuse their sin. It means to trust God enough to allow Him to make the necessary changes in their life while we love our friend through the process. God doesn’t need our help but our friend does so He works through us to reveal the spots they cannot see.
Commit to the Process
True transparency is acknowledging others see in us things we cannot see ourselves and committing ourselves to correct that problem. Our instinct is to cover up and mask over the problem. That is the response of the flesh that wants to hide from the light and avoid exposure. Walking in the light means receiving correction with humility as well as giving correction with humility. It means we must be committed to exposing those things to Christ that are not pleasant so he can remove them from our lives forever. This process requires full attention and a life-long commitment to pleasing the Lord.
It is critical that every person has someone who can be a Nathan or Paul in their life. They can be a good friend, a minister or pastor, or a spouse. There must be the trust that we love each other and only want to help each other to become all Christ died to make become. The greatest role of the church in the life of the believer is to encourage one another to love and good deeds. Paul wrote, Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:24,25 NLT
There are lots of great passages in the New Testament to help you. The Word of God is a mirror that will enable us in our efforts to get rid of blind spots. I encourage you to read Hebrews 12 and 13, Titus 2:1-8, and both letters to the Corinthians from Paul. These scriptures, (linked below), will bring light to the darkness in our life so we can be used to help others.
It’s easy to point out the blind spots of some pastor or leader. That happens every day. The real question is, What are your blind spots? You may not know what they are, but someone who loves you does know. You just have to be willing to listen and then deal with it. God help us all so we can be effective ministers of the gospel to this world.
Ever been to the gym by yourself to work out? I don’t seem to get that same burn unless someone like me is there to push me to do better. That is what this monthly newsletter will be for you. I will share some upcoming posts, and little tidbits to hold onto each month to encourage you. I will also call on you to share your experiences of transformation, whether you call it success or failure. The process of and the struggle for change is just as real as doing pushups. You never know if you will be the one attempting to get one more push or if you will be the one shouting “One more…You can do it!” Sign up below. Get free stuff. Let’s challenge each other to be Transformed!