All my life I have despised my blind spots! I can’t tell you how often I’ve ranted and railed at the God of the universe telling Him blind spots are a very, very bad thing for Him to allow in His children. Why, O Lord, why do you show my blind spots to everyone in the world but me? What kind of a sense does it make?
This morning in the wee hours, God finally answered my decades-old question. I now see His purpose, His plan, and His providential provision in my blind spots. I still hate them. I want them all to be removed, but I finally understand their use in the kingdom of God.
My epiphany came as two seemingly unrelated events converged in my life. The first one is the ongoing debate between N.T. Wright and John Piper on Paul’s perspective of justification. The second is my initial attempt to serve as a Critique Partner for a fellow author.
But before I describe the convergence of doctrinal debate with manuscript critique, I must step back to clarify the truth—or rather the lack thereof—in my repeated rant toward God. It is true that I have cried out “Why do you permit everyone but me to see my blind spots?” in the kind of Davidic hyperbole that fits so well in a lament. However, it is not true that God shows my blind spots to everyone. He does not show anyone’s blind spots to everyone. If He did, we could have no false teaching in the church, no congregation would follow a leader who strays, and each of us would be corrected immediately whenever we step out of line.
Perhaps I should instead cry out, “Why, O Lord, why don’t you show everyone my blind spots so I never have to worry or wonder whether I’ve got something right?” Fortunately, this time I don’t have to spend decades waiting for the answer because it’s the same for both questions: Our blind spots are God’s tools to refine our relationships with each other and with Him.
I begin with the premise that all human beings (with the single exception of the Incarnate Lord Himself) have blind spots throughout our lives, and we must acknowledge that fact before they can be removed. Our blind spots remind us that we are totally dependent members of His body. No one, not Peter, not Paul, not John the beloved had or has a corner on the Truth. Together we have the mind of Christ, but alone we are just neurons randomly firing across synapses.
1 Corinthians 12 tells us plainly how gross we become when we choose to live in isolation with our blind spots rather than seek the unity Christ provided through His intercession in John 17. Imagine what it would be like if someday your foot suddenly says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of your body.” And then your ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of your body.” Next your eye says to the hand, “I have no need of you”; and your head says to the feet, “I have no need of you.”
There is a reason we find disembodied body parts horrifying, and we should keep that image in mind whenever we feel inclined to distance ourselves from other members in the body of Christ.
That brings me back to the Wright/Piper debate on justification, but that is the subject of my next post.