Blind spots, Yetis and dental floss
Have you ever gone to switch lanes and at the last second noticed a car next to you and swerved back to avoid a collision? Blind spots! We also have these blind spots in relationships, and they can be just as harmful – and at times shocking. The Bible is full of verses encouraging us to seek and choose instruction to gain wisdom and understanding… helping us navigate our blind spots in our relationships and in life.
One thing I am learning is that even with the best intentions there are times where blind spots keep me from being my best self. I have seen this in my own relationships and in others. While blind spots can vary in magnitude, the Bible and trusted people in our lives can be great resources to help us see and work on the areas in our lives that we don’t (or can’t) see on our own.
It also can be much easier to see other peoples' blind spots than our own. It reminds me of Matthew 7:5 about being a hypocrite of seeing a speck in someone else’s eye without seeing the log in your own. It just seems like human nature: it is hard to see our own blind spots. We need teaching and correction to be able to be our best selves. Iron sharpens iron.
Probably not shockingly, we have found in our marriage that we each have blind spots. In our couples group we were challenged to give a compliment sandwich (compliment, area of improvement, compliment). This has been a very helpful exercise for us when done out of authentic love for each other and when each of us, giving correction and seeking correction, come in humble, genuine and willing to grow. This critique could be as simple as taking the empty can out of the yeti koozie, or throwing away the dental floss in the shower to big relational issues where someone is actively hurting the other without even knowing it.
One of the joys of relationship with God and others is they keep us rooted in God’s word and pointed toward the direction of knowledge and understanding, if we actively seek it out. The Bible talks a lot about instruction and advice and the value these bring to one’s life. Be humble, seek it out, choose it, and give yourself and others grace in the process.
Proverbs 4:13 says, “Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.”
Mark 4:25 reads, “For whoever has a teachable heart, to him more understanding will be given; and whoever does not have a yearning for truth, even what he has will be taken away from him.”
One translation of Proverbs 8:10 says, “Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.”
We are far from perfect at this and can always be more intentional, but when we practice this willingness to pursue instruction and wisdom, we have found it helps us be better people and better spouses for each other. It almost always creates an opportunity for good conversation which ends up being life-giving instead of passive aggressive or nagging.
Here are some questions for reflection. There’s no place for guilt or shame in any way. The questions are meant to help us grow in wisdom and understanding.
What is your posture towards advice, counsel and correction?
Would you agree with key ingredients of humility, authenticity, kindness, and love for giving and receiving instruction? What others may be helpful?
In your relationship with God and others, could there be more intentionality about asking for/seeking out correction and instruction? How might that look?
- Peder and Heather