Learning to See what I do not Want to See

by Rob Tims

It’s stunning how blind we often are to our own inconsistencies, but how great we are at pointing out everyone else’s.

Have you ever come home from work and walked into a cluttered home and thought “It’s so funny how my spouse can’t seem to find where these things go”? I have. And on the most recent occasion of this, two hours later, sitting in the living room, I noticed seven personal items (shoes, books, etc.) in random places throughout the room, and none of them belonged there.

Did I mention they were MY personal items?

It’s one experience of millions that reveals our tendency to cloud our view of reality in favor of the one we want to see.  Factual evidence be cursed: what we see is real!

It’s human nature to give ourselves to what subjectively sounds or feels good without actually weighing empirical evidence.  Why are we so prone to find reality unattractive?  Consider two passages of Scripture.

  • Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV) – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
  • Psalm 119:29 (NLT) – Keep me from lying to myself;  give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.

These passages reveal our bent to cloud reality.  As depraved human beings, our hearts and minds lie to us.  What we need is truth revealed to us from the outside … from God Himself through His Word.  Our heart is deceitful … we are prone to lie to ourselves … and only the revealed truth of God’s Word can show us reality.

Let me encourage you to look beyond your subjective emotions and feelings and, instead, pursue the truth in your daily life decisions and in the weightier matters of life.  It will come from outside of you, through the Word.

I’m pretty sure at least your spouse will appreciate it.

Rob Tims is husband to Holly and father to Trey, Jono, Abby Jane and Luke. He’s the author of Southern Fried Faith: Confusing Christ and Culture in the Bible Belt, and manages the team behind smallgroup.com at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville. He writes regularly at RobTims.com and blogs every Friday at Forward Progress.

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