Thursday, June 22, 2017

Blind Spots

All of us have blind spots. And even those who honestly try to follow God can fall into them. Jehoshaphat was a good king (2 Chronicles 17:3-6; 19:3; 1 Kings 22:43). He sent officials to  teach the people the Law of God and judge disputes (2 Chronicles 17:7-9; 19:4-11). He trusted God in times of trouble (2 Chronicles 20:5-25; 18:31; 2 Kings 3:11-20). But he allied with King Ahab, and he married his son to Ahab’s and Jezebel’s daughter (2 Chronicles 18:1; 19:2; 1 Kings 22:44). He joined Ahab and his sons in many questionable ventures (2 Chronicles 18:2,3; 20:35-37; 2 Kings 3:7). This resulted in great evil for the kingdom of Judah (2 Chronicles 21:4-7; 22:1-4; 2 Kings 11:1-3). How then do we avoid our blind spots?

We need to be humble enough to recognize we are vulnerable and need God to reveal our weak points to us (1 Corinthians 10:12-14; Psalms 19:12-14; 1 Timothy 6:11). We must remember that we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 4:4,5; Philippians 3:9), and although God is at work in us (2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:13), we still have a long way to go in becoming the people God wants us to be (Philippians 3:12-16; Romans 7:14-18; Galatians 5:17). I am convinced that one of the great dangers for a Christian is believing we have it all together, which leaves us open to be blindsided. Pride and self-righteousness can easily set us up for a fall (Proverbs 16:18; 1 Peter 5:5-10; James 4:6-10).

It is easy to become conformed to the world’s standards and to let them determine our behavior (Romans 12:1,2; 1 John 2:15-17; James 4:4). This can often result in our doing the wrong thing from good intentions, because we have adopted a worldly standard of values. We are constantly bombarded with the world’s messages. And we do not want to totally withdraw, for we want to be able to reach others for Christ (1 Corinthians 9:19-23; Matthew 9:10-13; Luke 19:1-10). But it is difficult to associate with people and not fall into their point of view (1 Corinthians 15:33; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Colossians 2:8). This was the problem that resulted in Jehoshaphat’s family; by marrying into Ahab and Jezebel’s family, they fell into their mindset. But I wonder if one of the things that caused this in the first place was picking up the world’s idea of what was a good political alliance. We do not know what Jehoshaphat’ s motive was, but it is easy to become confused and see the wrong move as a good idea. To avoid this we need to be grounded in God’s Word (Colossians 3:16; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16,17). We also need to be in fellowship with other Christians who can steer us back to the right path when we get off it (Hebrews 10:24.25; 12:12-13; Proverbs 27:17).  For all of us are sinners, and we need ways to continually correct our blind spots.

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