We all have blind spots, and not just when we are driving. We have blind spots in our lives… things we are that we don’t know we are. Things we aren’t good at, while we think we are great at.
Let me ask you a question: what is the ultimate blind spot?
Think about it for a minute.
Over the past couple of weeks I have been reading Accidental Pharisees by Larry Osborne (I LOVE the title of that book!). Here is the answer he gives to that question. Much of what you’ll read below is a direct quote from pages 47-48, with some of my paraphrasing thrown in:
I’ve noticed one thing about arrogance. It’s the ultimate blind spot. We never see ourselves as arrogant. We might admit to an occasional struggle with pride, but not full-blown arrogance.
We never think we’re inappropriately looking down on others. We think we’re seeing things as they really are. We think the people we are judging deserve it. We think the people we look down on really are beneath us.
To keep from falling into this trap, I try to regularly ask myself if there is any group of people for whom I am developing a knee-jerk response of disgust, disdain, or aversion. If the answer is yes, it’s an early warning sign that I’m headed down the path of arrogance.
So here’s a question you might want to ask yourself: Do I have my own “thank God I’m not like them” list? And if so, who’s on it?
If you’re passionate about justice and the needs of the poor, you probably struggle with people who aren’t. Your temptation will be to write them off as uninformed, selfish, or coldhearted.
If you live green, care for the planet, recycle, and maybe even ride your bike to work, you’ll be tempted to look down on those who don’t.
If you spend more time than most thinking deeply about theology, read books written by dead guys, and do your Bible study in the original Hebrew and Greek, you’ll be sorely tempted to look down on those who think the last book of the Bible is called “Revelations.”
If you don’t own a TV or maybe you have a TV but you don’t have cable, you’ll be tempted to look down on people who watch programs you’d never watch or when you do watch something and talk about what you saw, you’ll be quick to qualify it by saying, “I don’t watch much TV…” or “I normally don’t watch that show…”
The same goes if you identify yourself as Spirit-filled, missional, incarnational, Gospel-centered, or some other current Christian buzzword. You’ll find it hard not to look down on those who don’t even know there’s a buzzword to conform to.
I have no idea what tempts you to feel superior. I have no idea what kind of people you’re tempted to look down on. But most of us have a list — or at least the beginnings of a list. Of course, it’s not written down anywhere because after all, THAT would be arrogant! 🙂 But we have a list nonetheless.
And we have no idea how dangerous that list is. To our heart, mind, and soul.
There’s only one thing to do with your list. Destroy it. Burn it. Nuke it. In other words, stop thinking about it.
You’ll be glad you did. And so will your Lord.
***Please join us this Sunday at The Eastside Vineyard Church. I’ll be preaching a sermon titled “Stage 4” faith (based on Matthew 23:1-12) which is a concept I wish I knew a decade ago but only learned about a couple years back. It really is a game changer. June 2. 10:30am. More info at tevchurch.org***