Where’s Your Blind Spot

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Any time you get in a car, you’ll probably notice the blind spots peculiar to that particular vehicle. An inattentive passenger may not be aware of the blind spots, but the driver has to be aware of them and must know how to compensate for them if he wants to avoid a collision.

People have blind spots too: metaphorically and quite literally. Ophthalmologists call them scotomas, which are obscurations within the field of view. They also occur on the eyeball itself as anatomical blind spots, known as optic discs. These are actual spots on “the specific region of the retina where the optic nerve and blood vessels pass through to connect to the back of the eye.”

These “blind spots” are “also known as the physiological blind spot, or, the specific scotoma in the visual field that corresponds to the lack of light-detecting photoreceptor cells on the optic disc” (Wikipedia.com, “Blind Spots”). We don’t notice these scotomas, because the brain “fills in the blanks” with what it perceives should be in those blind spots. Kind of like neurological “Photoshopping.”

This subject piqued my interest after watching an episode of Perception on the TNT television network. The principle character in the show, Dr. Daniel Pierce, is an eccentric professor of neuroscience who suffers from schizophrenia and regularly assists the FBI in solving complex crimes. This particular episode involved the theorem of “Inattentional Blindness.” The case he was investigating involved several murders that were committed in the midst of large crowds—yet there were no witnesses. Even though the murders happened in front of scores of people, no one noticed. According to Scholarpedia, Inattentional Blindness is “the failure to notice a fully-visible, but unexpected object because attention was engaged on other task, event, or object.”

We can easily take this to a spiritual level. The blind spots in our lives are characteristics we don’t see in ourselves, but may be clear to others. In fact, Jesus made that analogy in Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV): “And why do you look on the splinter that is in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the beam that is in your own eye? Or how will you say to your brother, Let me pull the splinter out of your eye; and, behold, a beam is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First cast the beam out of your own eye, and then you shall see clearly to cast the splinter out of your brother’s eye.”

Jesus doesn’t mince words when it comes to our blind spots. He makes it apparent we need to recognize the fact that we do have blind spots and must overcome them. Overcoming is what’s important in life; and it’s often our most difficult task. If you look at the messages to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3, God will reward the one who overcomes. We can’t earn salvation, because it is the gift of God by grace (Acts 15:11), but we are rewarded according to our works (Romans 2:6).

Are you blind to your blind spot (or spots)? The solution is easy, though it may be uncomfortable. Ask someone close to you if there’s something you could do to become a better person. Better yet, ask God to gently point out your blind spots, and at the same time, ask him to help you overcome them.


Rich Glasgow

Richard Glasgow, Ambassador College graduate and avid student of Ron Dart, brings the Minor Prophets and the Book of Daniel to life. Intriguing lessons you'll never forget!

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Image Credits: Joel Montes de Oca