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The Trouble with Blind Spots

Blind Spot: an area in which a person lacks understanding or impartiality.

We all have blind spots; places where we do not see clearly. A blind spot is not something we have intentionally chosen to ignore; it is something that we are not even aware of.

Last weekend my wife told me that the power was out in the garage and that she couldn’t get the garage door closed. I began my search to discover the problem. First, I checked the breaker. It was not tripped. I then pulled the breaker out to make sure that it was good and found that power was coming thru it.

Next, I pulled out all the garage outlets to see if there was power coming into any of them. There wasn’t. After even more time of searching and diagnosing I finally called an electrician to help me find the source of the problem. The first question that he asked was if I had a GFI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) on the circuit. I told him that I didn’t and showed him all the outlets on the circuit.

He climbed into the attic, traced all the lines and found that the power ended after going down into the wall by the garage door light switch. That got me thinking, could I have missed an outlet hiding behind the door? Sure enough, there was an outlet with a tripped GFI!

My blind spot was my assumption that I had found all the outlets. I had dismissed the obvious problem, a tripped GFI, and ended up not only wasting a day of troubleshooting, but a couple hours of the electrician’s time as well. But what could I do? I could not see what I didn’t know was there.

Our blind spots call our attention to the symptoms that we can see, while leaving the unseen source of the problem untouched. In Romans, Paul identifies how this happens spiritually by our not seeing the real cause of our sin, “So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So, I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.” (7:14–17)

My sinful desires blind me from seeing the hope that Christ died to bring. So, what is the answer? To just stop sinning? No, for my sinful acts are just symptoms of the problem of the sin living within me. Suggesting that I have the power to stop sinning is like telling a blindman that they just need to look harder to see. I need to address the problem not just the symptoms. We cannot see unless our eyes are opened.

We need someone like the electrician to reveal our blind spots, to help us see what we cannot see. These spiritual blind spots are fed by the lies of the god of this world, “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) The lie is that “You got this. You don’t need Christ.” Believing this lie will cause me to stop looking for the Good News of the gospel.

Jesus uses the images of darkness and light to illustrate the contrast, “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” (John 3:19-20)

The light of the gospel will reveal our blind spots, it reveals our need for Christ. Just as the junk needed to be removed so I could see the outlet, so too do we need the light of the gospel to reveal the lies that the god of this world has filled our minds with. With our blind spots removed, not only will we see our sins clearly, but we’ll be able to see the forgiveness that Christ brings.

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