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COLUMN: Caution — Watch out for spiritual blind spots

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By Jon Rohr

I think it has probably happened to every driver at one time or another. We’re changing lanes on the highway after doing everything right and suddenly a car is right there beeping the horn. You checked the mirror, you glanced over your shoulder and didn’t see a thing, but there he is. The blind spot has struck.
What was a simple lane change now holds the potential for disaster. We have to make quick adjustments, moving back into our own lane.
We’ve all been on the receiving end as well: Another driver moves into our lane as if we are invisible. It seems that every car has a blind spot that can catch us no matter how carefully we check.
The Bible tells us that we all have spiritual blind spots as well, sins that creep into our lives before we even know it. David once wrote, “Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults” (Psalm 19:12 NIV). God certainly sees and knows our sins and faults, so from whom are they hidden? Well, sad to say, we often don’t see our own failings. We all have blind spots.
Sin can sneak up on us. It may not look like temptation. Perhaps it even disguises itself. A co-worker of the opposite sex shares troubles at home, we try to be supportive and soon a listening ear becomes an affair that destroys two homes. You are struggling in math, so a friend helps out with homework and then on test day you find yourself looking at her answers. We don’t see it coming, but suddenly we have crossed the line and are headed for a wreck.
In a car, you need to learn the blind spots, be aware of those places that may hide another car. It is wise to keep situational awareness. Did you see a car coming up from behind? Where is it now? Believe it or not, cars don’t just disappear. It has probably settled right in your blind spot.
In the same way, we need to learn to be aware of what tempts us, about what trips us up into sin. We face all kinds of temptations, but each of us has a soft spot, a temptation where we are more vulnerable. And what may trip me up may not be what catches you off guard. So we need to learn about what the Bible calls “the sin that so easily entangles” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV).
We need to ask ourselves and maybe someone we trust, what are our blind spots? What temptations keep tripping me up? Is it money? Is it sexual temptation? Is it pride? And then the question is, how do I become more aware? Can I avoid certain situations where I might be tempted?
For example an alcoholic probably shouldn’t hang out in a bar after work. Is there someplace you shouldn’t hang out? Some situation you should avoid? Are there safeguards you can use to protect yourself from falling? Are you looking out for that blind spot?