For our series on leadership we are reposting this old blog on blindspots. Leaders, especially ones that are experienced and have growing platform, are prone to have few people speak into their lives. This is true for ministry leaders as well. One of the strongest features of spiritually mature leaders is the understanding that we are often blind to weaknesses and frailties. Why are we blind? Keep reading …
In the middle of a workshop for corporate women, I received one of my most powerful spiritual lessons. One minute we were discussing team-building and communication — next thing I knew the Holy Spirit was drilling a hole in my heart.
A seasoned, successful woman was telling us about a meeting she facilitated with her co-workers. In her presentation she got a bit agitated and expressively harsh. She became very heavy handed. After the meeting one of her peers called her out privately about this pattern of leadership she was displaying. When challenged about this incident she sort of blew off the correction with a cavalier “I guess it’s just my blind spot.” At which her co-worker replied, “It’s only blind to YOU, Wendy.”
The word “blind spot” got my attention; but even more powerfully — the co-worker’s piercing words “It’s only blind to YOU.”
If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. — Galatians 6:3
The areas of our lives where we are self-deceived are blind spots to us. And just like Wendy they are only blind to us. Why? Because we are deceived.
OF ALL FORMS OF DECEPTION, self-deception is the most deadly, and of all deceived persons the self-deceived are the least likely to discover the fraud. — A.W. Tozer
Tozer goes on to say this:
The reason for this is simple. When a man is deceived by another he is deceived against his will. Since he expects his foe to take advantage of him he is watchful and quick to suspect trickery…With the self-deceived it is quite different. He is his own enemy and is working a fraud upon himself. He wants to believe the lie and is psychologically conditioned to do so. He does not resist the deceit but collaborates with it against himself.
It’s only blind to us because we don’t want to see the truth. Self-love blinds us. We excuse our weaknesses.
Just like Wendy’s co-worker saw HER blind spots, I was pretty convinced I had seen other’s glaring blind spots. (That is a blog topic for another day.) Then it dawned on me. THEY could see mine!
Our hearts deceive us, Jeremiah reminds us. I cannot trust my assessment of myself. While I may grade others very harshly, I will grade myself on a CURVE. In fact, the Greek word for “deceive” in the New Testament literally is “ to miscalculate”. We will make “spiritual miscalculations” in regards to ourselves when self love rules our hearts.
I think it is safe to say that the deeper into religious culture we are the more prone we can become to self-deception. Exhibit A: Pharisees.
I began to ask God to show me my blind spots. He did. And He still is. And He continues to lovingly and graciously help me confront my self-deceptions.
We can’t address sin we don’t identify.
Ask Him. He will lovingly deal with what is “only blind to you.”
- It begins with the mistrust of our personal spiritual calculations.
- Followed by us asking God to “Search our hearts and tests our minds.” (Jeremiah 17:10.)
- Ending with our confession colliding with His grace and mercy.
Leaders, ask God to open your eyes to see things others see. Be willing to accept words of critique, correction. God uses those tools to sanctify us and make us better leaders.
Published February 22, 2016