The Blindspot



Pastor Al Pirozzoli

God’s invincible love not only turns us away from being judged, but in fact is intended to immunize our own predisposition to judge and overlook forgiveness. Of course, we cannot, must not, dismiss sin, minimize it, or sweep it under the counter. At the same time, judging accusers with a hindrance to forgiveness remain behind a blind spot. We can be quick in judging ourselves while adding a certain leniency, but we tend to do the opposite when judging others.
Having forgiveness for someone doesn’t mean allowing him back in a trusted position. By the same token, it doesn’t mean they tar and feather him either. One of the many things I respect about the Bible is that it pulls no punches: “All have fallen short of the glory of God,” (Rom 3:23).
 Key word: “ALL.”

“Judge not, that you be not judged. With the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye,” (Matt 7:1-5).

The danger of the blind spot.

Whenever I judge others and decide whether they have suffered enough to outweigh their sin, I place myself in direct opposition to Jesus who died for their sins, seeks to restore them, and removes the blind spot just as he has with me and you. The Father seeks to be a purifying presence within us. Consider this: Peter, after betraying Jesus went on to climb the mount of redemption. Judas, after betraying Jesus climbed the mount of remorse. Judas hung himself and his bowels gushed out. Peter hung his fears and returned by forgiveness. Peter removed the blind spot, Judas did not.
We must always remember that God's correction is not condemnation. The Father convicts while the devil condemns and fuels self-judgment. Self-judgment advances our judging of others while minimizing grace; that’s a blind spot. It prevents us from seeing clearly. We must keep in mind the many teachings Jesus offered on forgiveness: the most challenging is forgiving our enemies. Nonetheless this is the command of the very one who hung on a cross actively absorbing our sins.

The blind spot reaction.

Elijah came to a window and asked to be fed. Within a few moments of their interaction and her preparation of a last meal, the widow’s son became sick and died. The amazing thing is her reaction: “And she said to Elijah, what have you against me, O man of God? Have you come to me to call my sin to remembrance and to slay my son?” (1 Kings 17). Here we see our human response portrayed in her. She places a judgment on God and the prophet. This is absolutely stunning to read. The human mind is loaded with blind spots, especially in dealing with spiritual matters. Only after her son is returned to life does her blind spot diminish. Our blind spots hinder the power flow of God’s love, and it blinds us to his relentless, invincible mercy.


Most of us are unfamiliar with the name, Ignaz Semmelweis.  He was a physician who practiced medicine in the Vienna General Hospital during the 1840’s, in the obstetrics ward, where the patient mortality rate hit 1 out of 10. Obsessed with the problem, he set his mind on uncovering the underlying cause for so many deaths. He looked into temperature, fresh air versus stagnant air, climate, overcrowding, and the cleanliness of bedclothes.  For a time, the cause of this rate of death eluded him. But over time he developed a theory that particles of some kind were being transferred from the hands of physicians to the patients. Particles called Germs.

This breakthrough occurred in 1847, following the death of his close friend who had been performing a postmortem examination when he was accidentally pierced by a student's scalpel. His friend’s autopsy turned up a pathology of similar nature to that of the women who were dying from puerperal fever. Semmelweis immediately observed a connection between cadaveric contamination and puerperal fever.

His blind spot fell away as he concluded that he and the medical students were carrying cadaverous particles on their hands (germs). When they moved from the autopsy room to the patients these particles moved with them. This explained why the student midwives in the other clinic, which were not engaged in performing autopsies and had no contact with corpses; saw a much lower mortality rate. At that time, germ therapy had not yet been developed.

Semmelweis became convinced that some unknown transfer of cadaverous material caused childbed fevers. He went on to institute a policy for washing hands with chlorinated lime, a compound found today in common household bleach. Washing between autopsy work and patient examinations became the standard practice. The mortality rate immediately dropped to
1 in 100. Untold numbers of lives were saved. Doctors were doing their best, but they couldn’t see the reality of germ contamination due to their blind spot.

A way to experience a physical blind spot is simple. If you look at the cross and the dot below, close your left eye and hold this page about 8-9 inches from your right eye. Look at the cross and slowly move the page forward and backward until the black dot disappears. The black dot disappears when light rays from the black dot fall on the place where the optic nerve enters the retina. This occurrence is known as a “blind spot.”
When we fall into judgment and reluctance to forgive, we function in a blind spot. Yet our Lord seeks to bring us true transformation. A breaking of the greatest of blind spot: sin!
Why is it that while scripture is so clear on this reality that we remain in the blind spot? When we believe we do not deserve God’s grace we are obviously correct however, grace essentially means unmerited favor. Unmerited favor is our reality. Sinners saved by grace and total forgiveness defines who we are. We stand in the silence of divine peace. Emancipation. Sin, the ultimate blind spot has been removed.
The chief of blind spots.

The apostle Paul made a tremendous claim about himself as the “chief of sinners.”  He had served as the embodiment of anti-Christianity.

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.  And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me, first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:12-17)”.

He persecuted Christians. In his blind spot he believed his actions against believers to be a service to God. But every Christian he bound added to the weight of his own chains and Paul came to a place where he felt weighed down as the chief of sinners. Over time, through the Christ-encounter, he came to the realization of his blind spot, seeing how Jesus came into the world to save sinners. In that act of power, he obtained forgiveness, grace, and mercy. The evidence of Paul’s stepping out of the blind spot is apparent throughout the above verses and all his New Testament letters. Look at how much he achieved with the Lord without the blind spot. This is a ministry and life template for you and I as well.

But the first line is so telling, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry…” Paul isn’t fooling himself here. He is not making a claim of lifting himself up. The grace was given, not earned in any way shape or manner. Paul is exceptionally clear on this as he stepped out of the blind spot into the expansive view of divine ministry. Paul’s journey from enmity with Christ to effective service to Christ exemplifies the result of a removed blind spot. For some time, the followers of Jesus did not, nor could not, trust or forgive Paul. They viewed him through a blind spot. Over time this situation resolved itself among believers as Paul suffered for the Gospel without hesitation. That can only happen when a blind spot is removed.

Looking isn’t seeing

The time has come to see ourselves as Jesus sees us. In fact, Paul provides this instruction: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil 2:5). Just how much does Paul have to cajole us, chase us, and convince us to live as though what Jesus did for us is an actuality; that his love generates the greatest power ever known to man: forgiveness! During my art school training, one of my professors, an accomplished painter whose work was international in recognition, helped us understand the difference between looking and seeing. The blind spot keeps us looking and never seeing.
Col 1:21, 22   
“And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—”  
Each of us functioned in that very blind spot until as scripture assures, “He reconciled us.”

2 Cor 5: 18,19
“Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their wrongdoings against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

How utterly amazing that we are told here that God did not count the wrong doings we committed against his holiness and purity, but rather saved us to eternal life in Christ. Having reviewed the above we can ask, is there a divine way to discern right from wrong and in so doing make a judgment?

A coin with two sides.

The command that we do not judge others is not intended to mean we throw out all discernment. There is a place for judgment. Jesus tells us, “Do not judge,” then he adds, “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls before swine” (Matt 7:6).

Jesus also warns, “Beware of false prophets…by their fruit you will identify them” (verses 15–16). We identify who are the “dogs” and “swine” or “false prophets,” by making a judgment call on doctrines and actions. In other words, as people of God we must be able to tell what is right from wrong.

We are also cautioned to gently confront erring brothers or sisters. (Gal 6:1).
A procedure for church discipline is to be followed, (Matt 18:15-17).
In this regard we are to speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15).
Here is the bottom line: Jesus provides a pattern to judge by: “Do not judge by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly,” (Jn 7:24). There is a proper to way judge as opposed to the wrong way. In all cases we must be extremely careful not to wrongly judge. When our ego, anger and humanity go unchecked we will find ourselves judging in the wrong way. For instance:
  • Unforgiving judgment with a harshness of heart.
  • Superficial judgment based on appearances with no facts or investigation, jumping to conclusions.
  • Holier than thou. Self-righteous judgment is wrong.
  • False judgment is wrong. 
There is a clear difference.

The joy set before him.

 “…looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God,” (Heb 12:2).
What was the “joy set before him? What did Jesus see? One thing is clear, Jesus had no blind spot. He saw the “joy.” The joy clearly set before him became twofold: Fulfilling the will of the father, and the once for all redemption of the world including you. Anyone that wants to come to Jesus and experience divine forgiveness can do so. In short, the joy Jesus saw while enduring the rejection, abandonment, suffering, scourging, humiliation, on the cross, was YOU!  Yes: Y-O-U!
Therefore, Jesus is never hindered by the blind spot of your sins. Never! This transformation, this salvation, recreates us as new creatures in Christ. This means that the only blind spots we experience now are those we allow. The good news is that we have the power to do so. Keep in mind that Jesus would never tell us we can do something if we can’t, including managing our thoughts:
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ,” (2 Cor 10:5). This includes blind spots. We have been given more divine power than we had ever imagined. It’s time for us to apply it.
The cross and the resurrection become for us the instruction of peace. And therein we must become more aware of our blind spots and cast them down. I remain absolutely convinced that judgment and un-forgiveness are our most dangerous blind spots.
“Having eyes and you do not see…” (Mk 8:18).  It is no wonder why Jesus healed so many blind persons: not only from physical blindness but from spiritually deprived blind spots.

Blind Spot Hindrances.
Limits your growth in Christ.
Hinders receptive learning.
Fosters unforgiveness.
Retains unforgiveness.
Limits experiences with the Holy Spirit.
Retards finding peace.
Minimizes ministry achievements.
Hinders relationships.
Dampens the Mind of Christ (MOC) thinking.
Downplays abilities and idea generation.
Isolates you.
Holds you back.
Fosters judgment.
Minimizes miracles.
Al Pirozzoli serves as Associate Pastor and Marketplace Chaplain at the Litchfield Hills Church in Woodbury, CT with Sr. Pastor Joe Chabot. We would be happy to be of service.

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