Wednesday, 8 May 2013
Acknowledging our blind spots and being willing to learn from others.
While driving, we depend on the side mirror to judge whether there is a vehicle beside our car. However, for added safety, we may need to quickly glance sideways just before overtaking as there are blind spots; the side mirror is not entirely trustworthy.
In life we too have our blind spots, which become apparent only when someone points them out to us. If we are humble and willing to learn from others, we will benefit a lot.
Being open-minded widens our outlook. A teachable attitude facilitates learning. No one has the monopoly of truth or revelation. Others may have wider experience, knowledge and anointing.
“The first to state his case seems right, until his opponent begins to cross-examine him” (Proverbs 18:17).
Apollos, a Jew, was a learned man with a thorough knowledge of scriptures. He taught about Jesus, boldly and accurately, in the synagogue. However, his understanding was incomplete. He had blind spots as he was exposed to John’s baptism alone.
When Priscilla and Aquila, the tent-making couple, heard him speaking in the synagogue, they invited him to their home * and “explained to him the way of God more adequately” (Acts 18: 26). Did Apollos feel threatened by them? Was he offended in any way?
“Who are you to teach me? Don’t you know I am a learned man? You are just common tentmakers, how much of the scriptures do you know?”
On the contrary, Apollos was gracious and humble. And his teachable spirit bore fruit. His teaching gift was a great blessing to believers and pre-believers. He “vigorously refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah” (Acts 18: 28). Paul warmly described Apollos as a fellow minister who “watered” the seeds of the Good News that he (Paul) planted in Corinth.
Apollos most likely relied on the Old Testament and John’s teaching on baptism as a sign of repentance from sin. After the couple’s explanation, he grasped the whole truth. This would most likely include the following – the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, coming of the Holy Spirit and baptism as a sign of new life in Christ.
Sometimes because we think our doctrine or denominational stance is correct, we cease to engage others with different viewpoints. Apollos was not such a person. He was willing to acknowledge his lack of understanding in certain areas.
A dogmatic spirit, pride and self-sufficiency are hindrances to effective service. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble – in this case, empowering grace.
We may have blind spots like Apollos but, if our attitude is correct, we can still be great channels of God’s blessings.
* Speaking the truth in love is essential. The hospitable couple felt it was best to share with Apollos about what he lacked in a friendly, relaxed home environment rather than in the synagogue.
WHAT BEING OPEN-MINDED MEANS
Like a parachute, our mind works only when it is open.