Do you have blind spots in your life? We are familiar with blind spots when we are driving. And if you are a parent teaching one of your children how to drive, you are very familiar with blind spots.
I have been reflecting on Romans 2 as we continue our sermon series through Romans. Last week Pastor Josh showed us through God’s Word how we are all very consistent at being inconsistent. Why do we tend to be so inconsistent? The short answer is because we are sinners. However, as I reflect on it some more, the root of our inconsistency is our deceitful hearts. Jeremiah tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick, who can understand it?” Not only is our heart sick, we are prone to deceive ourselves into thinking we are better than we are.
We have been going through the book of James as a small group. Three times within the first chapter James warns us against deceiving ourselves (James 1:16, 22 & 27). James would not waste time warning us against deceiving ourselves if this were not a danger we easily fall into.
How do we deceive ourselves? We can deceive ourselves into blaming God for our sin and failure (James 1:13-18). However, sin is the result of our own wrong desires. God does not tempt us. In fact, He does the opposite; He provides every good gift and truth.
We deceive ourselves into thinking hearing can pass for doing. James tells that we need to “be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving ourselves.” We tend to deceive ourselves into thinking that merely hearing the Word of God is enough. Hearing the Word of God is necessary and foundational, but it is only the start. If we do not follow up our hearing with action, then hearing is doing us no good.
Finally, James tells us that if we think we are religious but we do not control our tongue we deceive our hearts and our religion is worthless (James 1:27). What we say can severely damage our testimony.
These passages stick out to me because too often I neglect how prone I am to deceive myself. Too often I am unaware of my inconsistencies or blind spots. I forget that I need to be actively aware that I am prone to deceive myself. If left unchecked, I will tell myself that I am better than I really am.
If we left things like this, this post would be pretty hopeless. What should we do with this bad news? We need to recognize and admit our own sinfulness. We need to ask God to continue to reveal our blind spots. Then we need to turn them over to Him. We need to examine our lives in the mirror of God’s Word rather than justifying our actions with our deceitful hearts. We will be overwhelmed if we try and fix these things on our own. We need to humbly come before Him and seek His help. He does not warn us of our deceitful hearts to make us feel bad. It is His grace and mercy towards us. God points out our sin so that we will turn to Him.
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.