We all have blind spots–those things in our character that limit our ability to love others and ourselves better. In the past when these limitations were exposed I wanted to hide them or make them go away. Now I want to see them so I can embrace them and grow from them in a healthy way.
Ps51:1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
I used to read the above passage and want to figure out how to perform better for God. I wanted to earn His love. When I asked for mercy I wanted insight on how to act differently so I wouldn’t feel so guilty for falling short. I missed the key to the verse so completely, “…according to your unfailing love, according to your great compassion…” I failed to see that the mercy I so desperately desired was already there for me, always ready for the taking because He already loves me for who I am.
Lam 3: 22 (NLT) “The faithful love of the Lord never ends. His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!’ The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him.”
If I love God, all the things, even the bad things of the past and my present failures, will mold and shape me into His image when my hope is in Him and not in myself or others.
Tim Keller once said, “Knowing God is where the truth moves from something I understand to something I stand under.”
I am learning to stand under God’s truth – I am loved by Him. I am made for His glory.
Is 43:7 (NIV) “Bring all who claim me as their God, I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.”
God’s truth needs to shine through my life like lightning through a lightning rod. But the truth isn’t always easy to see–not in myself. We all have blind spots. In my mind I can come across one way in a given situation, but be perceived completely differently by someone else. The truth only comes through humility and too often I have lacked it. I deeply desire truth, like never before, the kind of truth that can hurt but is worth the pain. I desire the truth that will move through me and change me into his likeness. I desire to see the truth about myself so I can allow His truth to be evident to all through me.
Sometimes even the strongest people are so paralyzed by the past that they will do anything to avoid taking the risk that might change their lives. It requires having faith and will that things will change. It’s a daily choice.
Lam 3:31 (NLT) “For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love.”
The truth means facing the hard things–the things I spent years running from or hiding because I wanted to be perfect, to be lovable. In these quests, more often than not, I was selfish and proud. In my fear I would reach for control and consequently hurt others. However, I am growing in accepting God’s love. As a result, I can admit that I am powerless over others. I know a new sense of belonging. I am no longer controlled by my fears, but overcome them with courage, integrity and dignity.
I’ve learned to admit when I am afraid and to be brave in the face of my fear anyway. Being brave is no longer about faking it, about pretending that what I am afraid of is not there or trying harder to be what I think I should be when I feel my inadequacy so completely.
Lam 3: 25-27 (msg) “God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It’s a good thing when you’re younger to stick it out through the hard times.”
Being brave is being vulnerable and wanting to see and understand how others perceive me so that I can see my blind spots. It’s diligently seeking and passionately waiting for God to reveal. It’s slowing down the moment. Seeking to understand by asking for insight not just from Him but those who know me well. Humility takes courage because it takes vulnerability. Vulnerability is letting others see me when I have no control of the outcome. I’ve been practicing this a lot lately. I’ve been combatting my perfectionism with humility. Instead of trying to be strong, I’ve been admitting my weaknesses and failures.
Pv 27:5 (NIV) “ Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. 9 Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice. 17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
In my search to truly see the truth and expose my blind spot I recently started an inventory. I began to ask friends to tell me how I can come across, using them as a sounding board to see the things I fail to see in myself that hold me back from being my most genuine self, from being the lighting rod for God.
I expressed my deep desire to see what I cannot and reached out for understanding. Those who truly love you will tell you the truth. They will tell you how you can come across in moments that leave them feeling hurt, disappointed, unheard and even unloved. While I was still striving to be perfect I could not hear the things I needed to hear about myself because the shame was too great to bare. When I embrace God’s love and mercy I am able to hear and change.
I invited these conversations because I know they will reveal to me the things in my character that I cannot always see but God calls me to change, to replace with His truth. These conversations have not only exposed my selfishness at new depths but have also equipped me with how to love the people in my life better without trying to mind read or guess. I am no longer applying the same method, my own, to every relationship. I am blessed with deep, complex and very unique friends who experience and feel love in different ways. Now I am better equipped to love them the way they need instead of how I think I should. These conversations have also revealed patterns I was blind to that I am now so much more aware of.
Ps 119:1 (msg) “You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God.”
It has been hard to hear some of the things shared with me, but God has used it in tremendous ways to bless and empower me. Total commitment to Christ results in radical love of others but it also results in acceptance of the radical love he lavishes on us. His persistent pursuit of my heart has both amazed, and brought me to tears. His love is steadfast, unchanging and faithful, not because of how good I am, but because of how good He is.