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Sep 01, 2023 2046 Denise Jasek
Engage, Evangelize

Blind Spot

On life’s winding journey, it’s interesting to know that there are blind spots to look out for!

We know how important it is to check our car’s blind spots, especially before changing lanes, reversing, or turning. Unfortunately, we learn the hard way sometimes.

Lately, I’ve been struck with the notion that we all possess physical and spiritual blind spots. Jesus taught us to be wary of the latter when He said, “I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Some Pharisees who were with Him heard Him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains” (John 9:39-41). What is Jesus telling us here?

We need to be very careful that we stay sitting at Jesus’ feet, heeding His instruction, learning from Him, and staying open to His corrections. As soon as we think we have ‘arrived’ or ‘have this Christian lifestyle down,’ we’re in dangerous territory. Our wisest thoughts, greatest sacrifices, and deepest loves are mere breaths compared to God’s infinite loving wisdom.

For we only see partially; we do not see the whole picture, the master plan. Only God does. Saint Paul puts it like this, “Now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Learning the Hard Way

Looking back on my life, I recall that I was completely unaware of my pride, sins, shortcomings, judgments, presumptions, biases, fears, and lack of trust more times than one. Thankfully, God introduced people and events into my life, which helped uncover some of these areas of spiritual blindness.

I tend to learn the hard way. For years, I couldn’t quite put my finger on why one woman actively avoided me. It created a lot of tension, as we were in the same play-and-pray group. Eventually, I got the courage and humility to ask how I had offended her. The answer hurt like the dickens, and although we never became friends, at least now I am aware of one of my blind spots that were previously under the radar.

It takes a humble heart to allow people to remove splinters from our eyes. And our trouble is, we are not often humble enough.

There are many instances in my life when I was unaware of the harm that my unforgiveness, pride, need to control, tolerance for sin, or lack of gratitude caused. I do not wish to make a public confession here, but God has slowly been peeling off layers of spiritual blindness from me. Although it can be painful, I have gained greater spiritual freedom.

More to Learn Every Day

A wise friend once told me that she looks forward to Lent each year. I have never been one of those holy souls, so my ears perked up when she said that. She told me that she does not choose what she gives up or does for Lent. She lets her husband do that for her. I was absolutely floored by that concept.

What if we went to our spouse or a trusted fellow Christian and asked them how we could grow spiritually or what sinful habit we should confess?

So many times, our root sin is buried under more obvious issues. For instance, anger might be due to unforgiveness, worry might stem from the need to control, and perfectionism often involves pride. Most sins stem from a lack of trust in God’s goodness.

The Power of Direction

There is a real power that comes with being able to name your root sin. If you can identify it, you can repent and be free of it. However, root sins are tricky; they like to stay buried. A good regular confessor or spiritual director is a huge help. “Oh, if only I had had a spiritual director from the beginning, then I would not have wasted so many of God’s graces,” wrote Saint Faustina.

We can seek out accountability partners. God often uses other people to help us ‘see’ ourselves better. Family members, especially those who are actively following Christ, can be great blind spot checkers, as they see us at our best and our worst. And let’s not forget to simply ask God to reveal our blind spots to us.

What if we prepared for confession by asking the Holy Spirit to reveal an area of sin that we are oblivious to or ignoring? What if we did the same at the end of each day?

I particularly recommend seeking the advice of wise Christians before making big decisions. Just as it’s more important to check blind spots when we are planning to set out or change direction in a vehicle, we need to be extra careful to do the same when we are discerning our vocations, career choices, and other major life decisions.

Heavenly Father, give us humble, listening hearts so that You can change us for the better. Grant us Your vision to grow in our love for You and for our neighbors.

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Denise Jasek

Denise Jasek has served the Catholic Church for many years. She is currently a music minister, mom of five mostly grown children, and lives in Ohio with her beloved husband Chris.

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