Through the years I have driven a lot of miles. When I think about the vehicles I have owned and the mileage when I bought them versus the mileage when I sold them, I would guess I have driven close to a million miles in my life. That is a pretty big number for a person who does a limited amount of driving as part of his job.
As a person who spends a lot of time on the road, when I purchase a new vehicle the first thing I buy for it are blind spot mirrors. These are simple little mirrors you put on the corner of your current rear view mirror. When you are driving down the highway and you need to change lanes you look in the big mirror for any approaching traffic. Then you look in the little mirror for anyone in your blind spot. This little mirror has saved my thousands of dollars.
The truth is that we all have blind spots. Even the best driver in the world has little places where another vehicle can get lost from their field of vision. This truth also applies to our lives. Each of us has blind spots where we cannot see everything clearly, even when the truth is close to us.
All of us need some blind spot mirrors on our life. I believe God gives us those in other people.
1. We need other people to get close to us.
Before other people can speak truth into my life I need to allow them to get close enough to really know me. There is a tendency to keep everyone in my life at arm’s length. That keeps us from letting people know the real us. I mean, if people really knew what happened with my parents or my spouse or my children, they might never want to talk to me again. Keeping people away keeps me from hearing the truth but it is terribly unhealthy.
2. We need other people who love us to tell us the truth.
The Bible says that wounds from a friend can be trusted. If you do let a person into your life who truly cares about you, then they need to tell you the truth about what they see. You need someone who loves you enough to tell you about the flaws they see in your life.
3. We need people who will tell us the truth, even if they don’t love us deeply.
This one is hard but necessary. It is easy for us to gather around ourselves people who are just like us. They have the same blind spots in their life as I do. We need a few people to speak to us who are not overly friendly. This might be a counselor of some sort or a boss or even a pastor. Outside input is important. I have to remind myself of this truth when it comes to critics. I often ask myself, “What is the grain of truth they are saying that I need to hear?”
4. We must be willing to listen to others, even if it hurts us now.
I could look in my blind spot mirrors and see another car, I could guess I have enough room and go ahead and change lanes at my own risk. The other option is to trust what I see and make adjustments in my thinking. The same is true in life. If someone points out that my marriage is headed for destruction or my children are walking a dangerous path, I have the choice to listen to them or not. A wise person listens and makes the changes necessary to end at a better destination.
The reality is that all of us need people in our lives. We need a few close people who can help me on my journey and I can help them on theirs. We need to hear and see the truth in order to navigate life with minimal injury. My little blind spots mirrors are worth their weight in gold. Good friends are worth more.