“Since each of us still has sin remaining in us, we will have pockets of spiritual blindness. . . Our most important vision system is not our physical eyes. We can be physically blind and live quite well. But when we are spiritually blind, we cannot live as God intended . . . Physically blind people are always aware of their deficit and spend much of their lives learning to live with its limitations. But the Bible says that we can be spiritually blind and yet think we see quite well. . . The reality of spiritual blindness has important implications for the Christian community. The Hebrews passage clearly teaches that personal insight is the product of community. I need you in order to really see and know myself. Otherwise, I will listen to my own arguments, believe my own lies, and buy into my own delusions. My self-perception is as accurate as a carnival mirror. If I am going to see myself clearly, I need you to hold the mirror of God’s Word in front of me” (Paul David Tripp, Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, pp. 53-54).
That is such insightful teaching of the Word by Paul Tripp. To think we need loving accountability within the context of God-centered community in order to accurately see our own sin is a humbling fact. In the past, I considered myself to be a private person. Upon retrospection, I realize the reason why I often kept to myself and prevented others from getting to know me fully and completely was because of much pride in my heart. Letting others see and know me fully meant letting them see how wretched I was and I wanted no part of that. Spiritually blind and lost. I find myself having to battle against those same tendencies from time to time in pursuit of integrity and spiritual growth.
I think many of us are already plugged into community (Church) and have people around us, but we often fail to live within the community in the way God intends for us to live. Many moments are shared and many words are spoken but too often they are eternally empty. Sometimes we are blessed to have people in our lives who lovingly initiate heart rendering dialogue with honest critique of our motives and actions. We should be eternally grateful for such people. Some of us do not have such people in our lives but that is no excuse at all. If we are serious about personal application of the Word of God and are serious about pinpointing our oh so subtle sin, we must make effort to initiate and cultivate Christ-centered relationships, in which biblical mirrors are held up for one another consistently in hopes for spiritual growth. This must occur and be maintained in order for our growth to be sustained. Ask the tough questions. Ask the important questions. Awkward? That’s only because it’s not done enough or perhaps not done at all before. Hesitant? Let us recognize that it may very well be the presence of pride. Offended? Think about how we react when our sin is called out. No, criticism is never initially pleasant, but we need to humble ourselves and truly examine ourselves when receiving it, for the sake of growing in Christ, and be thankful for such an expression of love that is often absent for many.
It’s amazing how God designed us for community. We need each other to grow in Christ and to see more of Christ. We musn’t forget that.