We all have blind spots. They are not sins; they are part of an imperfect and limited human being. But they become sins when God uses someone to point them out to us and we refuse to admit them. It is a sin when we are comfortable with our pre-existing point of view and do not want new information that calls it into question. I pray that God will use what I am about to share regarding common blind spots in relationships to open your eyes to everything that applies to you.
We regard our race, education, background, status or peer group as better than others. We despise people who are not as nice or smart or noble or handsome or handsome or rich as we are. We believe that our faith and our political positions are higher and better than those of “the other side”.
Increasingly in our culture, people get their news from sources that validate what they already believe, a phenomenon called âconfirmation biasâ. They don’t even entertain the idea that there might be another way to approach a problem. Each article and news program assures them that they are right and the other is wrong. The problem could be racial injustice, masks, vaccines, immigration, guns, election results, or anything else. them.
This is the assumption that âI deserve betterâ. Sometimes it comes from desire. We feel like victims and insist that someone step in to right the wrongs and solve the problems in order to improve our lives. Make no mistake, some people are real victims. They have suffered injustices from family members, the police or other authority. Or maybe they lost their jobs – and maybe their home – because of the pandemic and through no fault of their own. These people need our care and support as they face the reality of their loss, mourn their wounds and heal.
Other times, a sense of entitlement comes from a very different source: prosperity. We believe that we have arrived socially and financially and that we only deserve the best treatment. For both groups, the law feeds on comparison. The poor are upset because other people have more than them, and the rich look at those who are even richer and conclude that they must have a better house, a better car, a vacation, a spouse or some other prestige brand. to pursue.
At some point we all have to face the harsh reality that the only thing we deserve is judgment, but God graciously gave us His Son. Colossians 1:12 says He “qualified [us] share the heritage of the saints in the light â(ESV). It is a gift, a gift of grace, which should produce the deepest humility, the highest praise, and the greatest gratitude. Drug addicts and prostitutes know full well where they are from, but quite often respectable, hardworking, paying, God-fearing, middle-class people look at each other and believe their current status is the result of their own hardships. work and clean life. These are the ones who can easily forget that they are in desperate need of God’s grace.
Since the pandemic began and the nation has undergone racial and political upheaval, people have even less confidence than before in those in authority, including business, political and church leaders. . We tend to be suspicious of anyone who is not part of our self-reinforcing tribe.
When people feel neglected or abused by those in authority, their confidence can be slowly eroded by constant, nagging disappointment or suddenly shattered by trauma. They learn to live in a world where they are always on guard, always have their antennae up to read people, and always calculate their words and actions to avoid being hurt again. When living in this world of suspicion, they question everyone’s motives and assume that those who disagree with them are fools. But they don’t realize that fear and lack of confidence have become normal for them.
Sometimes, of course, suspicion has its root in the facts. Today, people of color are suspicious when a white policeman approaches them, victims of abuse are suspicious of anyone in power, and people on either side of the political spectrum assume those on the other side are wrong. and try to ruin the country.
In families, suspicion ruins relationships. I’m not saying it’s wrong to be suspicious when there is good reason to question people. But sometimes suspicion takes its own life, and no matter how trustworthy a growing spouse or child has turned out to be, unreasonable doubt plagues connections.
4. Past injuries
For many people, past hurts color current relationships. Abuse, addiction, abandonment, divorce, death, illness and other problems can cause deep wounds that often go unidentified or healed. One of the most common issues in marital relationships is the impact of childhood trauma on a spouse’s ability to give and receive love, trust, relax, and be him. -even. Blinders prevent these people from seeing the enormity of their pain and prevent healing. When these blinders are removed, healing can begin and relationships can become stronger than ever.
5. Lost ground
Many Christians are outraged because they believe they are losing ground in culture wars. Same-sex marriage has become the law of the land; abortion is widely accepted and in fact required by many in our country. Some are talking about rescinding the Second Amendment on private gun ownership, prayer has been taken out of schools, and religious freedoms are under attack. The governor of Illinois, for example, recently passed legislation to make the LGBT history curriculum compulsory in public elementary schools in our state. Ten years ago, who could have imagined that such a law would be enacted?
In the past, when Christians realized the nation was going in the wrong direction, they stood up and took action, leading the charge for change. Today far too many of us stand still, unsure of what can be done, chained by self-pity, and yearning for someone else to change the course of the nation.
In this cultural divide, I appreciate people on both sides who value integrity, compassion and reason. It is wise to avoid tribalism to insist that our side is always right. Wise people are ready to listen to the arguments of the other side and they are ready to admit that their side is irrelevant.
I’m certainly not suggesting that we just give in and give up our moral positions on the wide range of issues. It is our responsibility to stand up for justice, righteousness and goodness, but we stand up in the name of Jesus, not in the name of a political party or a political leader. And we trust Jesus, not the party or the leader, to give us the wisdom, direction, and persistence to fight the good fight.
Being a Christian with beliefs does not give us the green light to express those beliefs with venom in our voices. Jesus begged the Pharisees to experience the Father’s affection. And I think he’s begging us to serve him with a beautiful blend of strong convictions, deep gratitude, and genuine love for those who disagree. We can only do this when we allow it to open our eyes to our blind spots and become willing to change.
This is an excerpt from Love Them Anyway: Finding Hope in a Divided World gone Mad by Pastor Choco De Jesus. More on https://lovethemanywaybook.com
Pastor Choco De ‘Jesus is the former senior pastor of New Life Covenant Church in Chicago, one of the largest churches in the country. He is general treasurer of the Assemblies of God. He was named in 2013 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. He is the author of several books, including “Love Them Anyway”.