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  • Writer's pictureJack Hager

>Stubborn and Blind – a deadly combo!

>This is from James MacDonald:

I have a lot of people in my life, and have had for a long time. A LOT! And because of that I have had countless opportunities to observe a deadly character combo: two traits that on their own are bad enough, but together are crushing to any real chance at Christ likeness. In fact if both these things are true of you, life transformation will never be more than a mirage. Wanna know what they are?

There are two character traits that make life transformation difficult if not impossible.

1) Blindness: Not physical blindness but spiritual blindness. Another term would be lack of self-awareness. None of us perceive ourselves perfectly but some people have a large gap (think grand canyon) between who they perceive themselves to be and who they actually are. Like the guy I just heard about who is trying out for American Idol even though he didn’t even pass the audition to sing on our worship team. Or the person who is sowing discord in the church right now because he can’t have the personal relationships he wants with the main leaders. (If you can’t join them criticize them? weird huh?). Or the family I know that was barely holding it together here in America yet claimed that God was calling them to a very difficult part of the mission field. They refused the warnings of others and invested themselves in a 10 year ministry of ’survival.’ Such a waste, all because of a blindness to their true condition. Ever wonder about the problem with the preacher who keeps firing away for almost an hour each Sunday, unable to see that every single person jumped off the ‘pay attention’ train at the first stop? Why is our church shrinking? Hello, hello, are you really unable to see that you are talking peoples faces off and boring them into the bottomless pit? Answer: Yes, I am unable to see that. It’s called blindness!

Now blindness by itself is not that deadly because there will always be an army of people lined up to tell you how incredibly clueless you are about the way you come across. If you have even a shred of humility you will benefit from the input of others. You will listen and learn as loved ones guide you by the hand to the life transformation you desperately need but couldn’t see. That has happened for me more times than I can possibly count. But what if you won’t let other people do that for you? This leads to deadly character flaw number two:

2) Stubbornness: Some people are flat out stubborn. No I’m not, you say! YES YOU ARE YOU! Need some evidence? OK! a) you argue with everyone who tries to tell you anything, b) you keep making the same mistakes over and over, and c) you think that your way of seeing things is the best way, the right way, the only way. Yes you do!! . . . You just can’t admit it because you are . . . ____________ (fill in the blank, hint: it’s starts with ’st’).

OK, so nothing so bad about being stubborn or blind, but together they form the deadly character combo. People who are blind and stubborn are impossible to lead, difficult to follow and painful to be in relationship with. Are you blind and stubborn?

Pr 26:12 “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

Blindness and stubbornness; I have seen it in elders who gave up everything rather than let someone shine a light down the dark hole of their own arrogant unawareness. I have seen it in husbands who refuse to even consider that they ARE part of the problem. I have seen it in young people whose immaturity and naivety is massively multiplied because they can’t see the problem and won’t let anyone connect the dots on their behalf. And worst of all, YES I have seen the combo in the mirror and it has terrified me. Are these deadly twins lurking in the corridor of your character? If in doubt, ask the people who know you best: “Hey, am I stubborn, and are there things you think I need to change that I might be unable to see?” Ask a few people who know you well . . .

Then count to a million outloud before responding to their answer.

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