“Blind Spots” by Collin Hansen

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1. Unless we shine light onto our blind spots and measure ourselves against Jesus, we will be tempted to apply our standards inconsistently. (14)

2. Instead of representing Jesus in all his wisdom, we’re tempted to cast him in our own image. Having manipulated Jesus, we wield our chief concern like a stick useful for beating up other Christians who don’t understand the problem. (15)

3. The problem with blind spots is that they tend to hide behind good traits. Your weakness is often the flip side of your strength. (15)

4. As the head of the church, Jesus guides us in how and when to respond in the proper role. You won’t always excel in every capacity. But by learning to respect how God has gifted others, you’ll enjoy God’s power at work in your weaknesses. (16)

5. When you and I worry less about what the world thinks of us and more about what God wants for the world, then we’ll have something unique to give to the world. Compromise in the name of compassion is a dead end. (19)

6. Some of us tend to weep over this lost world. Others seek indignant demonstrations against injustice. Jesus did both. (20)

7. But by God’s power we can do more than weep for the world. Weeping turns to praying, and praying turns to helping. You and I are the means God employs to lavish compassion on his creation. (22)

8. The world can ignore another special-interest group. They can ignore another awareness campaign. They can even ignore another law. But the world cannot ignore churches united around this vision, Christians who put this compassion into action. (22)

9. To be clear, our goal is not to eradicate evil altogether. After all, the only way to eliminate evil is to eliminate you and me. (23)

You will not insult your heroes to suspect their imperfection.

10. All of us share the temptation to scapegoat in the name of compassion. Now that the church represents a minority view on issues such as gay rights and religious liberty, we fear our enemies want to exact revenge. Tolerance sounds like a good idea until you have the power to enforce your morality. The heart is never so deceptively cruel as when convinced of its purity. (25)

11. Courage is not the only virtue extolled by Christians. But as with training to become a firefighter, it’s essential to fulfilling the rest of our job description: to love, to serve, to rebuke, to evangelize, and so on. (27)

12. Maybe the most countercultural thing you can do today is stand firm and stay put. Not change your mind. Not assume newer is better. Not back down when under pressure from the world. 28

13. Courage will not necessarily appear bombastic. Often it will look more like quiet confidence. If Christ is coming back to judge the living and the dead, you and I don’t need to overreact to the ups and downs of each day. (28)

14. You will not insult your heroes to suspect their imperfection. Rather, if you ignore their mistakes, you’ll insult their God and cloud your faith with the fog of nostalgia. Your own day will never measure up by comparison. Instead of inspiring courage, your heroes will make you doubt you can measure up to their lofty standard. (30)

15. Courage to repeat the same old failed approaches is foolishness. Being hated by the world doesn’t necessarily prove you’re courageous. (31)

16. Consider this: what have you done to make your church a welcoming place for neighbors not like you? (31)

17. All the while, charity must guide our dealing with other believers as we remember that everyone matures in faith while learning from God in his perfect timing. Courage is not measured by how many people you can offend. (35)

18. Churches poised to please the culture with a pitchman pastor may think the world needs a more positive and encouraging message, maybe something safe for the whole family. Such churches may see Sunday morning as essentially an escape from the cares of the world, a security blanket for the huddled masses. But if you fall for this false promise, you will gain the world and forfeit your life (Mark 8:36). (41)

Maybe the most countercultural thing you can do today is stand firm and stay put.

19. I fear that evangelicals still think the right candidate or even new technology can secure a brighter future. But no new media or political platform can change the human heart. (42)

20. If the Spirit has gifted me with courage, then that same Spirit may have gifted you with compassion. Or perhaps he has gifted you with particular zeal to fulfill the Great Commission. I can’t look down on you for being different, nor can I envy you for having the gift I want. God has a plan to unify us in our diversity. (47)

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