Have you ever been asleep at the wheel? In the business world, it’s called strategic drift. How many of you still carry a Nokia or Motorola cell phone? Or have a Myspace page? Sometimes it’s the size of an organization, an overly mature culture, or the arrogant belief that develops when you are #1 . . . whatever the reason the result can be fatal because in most cases, someone else saw it coming.
In the ‘real world’ that you and I live in, we call it a blind spot. John Maxwell defines a blind spot as “An area in someone’s life in which they continually fail to see themselves or their situations realistically.” He goes on to say, “this unawareness often causes great damage to the person and those around him.”
We are all aware of marriages that ended due to a verbally abusive spouse who hasn’t dealt with anger issues. Or parent-child relationships that end up broken because of Mom or Dad’s overly controlling personality. Again, in most cases, you saw it coming.
That’s the thing about blind spots, from the inside looking out, we can’t see them . . . but from the outside looking in, they are glaring. Why are they so hard to see? Because we are used to checking to see how many likes we get . . . how many retweets we have . . . we are all about ‘me’ . . . we are the chief protectors of our own feelings. We get angry when someone doesn’t agree with us or give us what we want. Greed creeps in when we’re chasing our goals and dreams. We become controlling in an effort to protect our self-interests. Jealousy is our attempt to mask our insecurities. But it isn’t really an emotional issue, is it? Sure it may show up in our actions and emotions, but it really is a heart issue. As Jeremiah says . . .
“The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out.” (Jeremiah 17:9 – The Message)
All of those ugly, ‘where did that come from’ emotions we display are rooted in our hearts . . . we’ve either become really good at covering them up or we are blind to them, even though they’re obvious to everyone else.
So how we do we work through these heart issues so they don’t become damaging to those around us?
- Abide – Take a look at John 15. Ten times Jesus uses the word ‘abide,’ meaning to remain, to continue in. When I think of abide, my first thought is rest but that misses the point. We have to fight to abide in Him. Abiding requires action.
- Examining our fruit – Stay with John for a minute. No fruit comes unless we abide . . . unless we remain in Him. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control. Not anger, control, greed, jealousy or pride.
- Don’t go at it alone – It is hard to examine our fruit alone. In fact, it is impossible. We are always right in our own minds. You have to go deep with someone around you . . . you have to expose yourself and become known. We all need people who will be bold enough to speak the truth about what they see in us.
It always sounds simpler when I write it down. So as you head into another week, let me encourage you to check in with your heart and invite someone to go along this journey with you. You won’t regret it . . . and neither will the people closest to you.
Scripture: Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. (John 15:4)
Mentor Tip: As a mentor, you’re in a position to not only help your guys see their blind spots but to help them address them. If you’re leading a mentoring group, this is one of the reasons it’s important to take notes as your guys tell their stories. You can refer back to these notes throughout the year . . . maybe even clueing you in on a blind spot one of your mentees possesses.