Yesterday we learned about the first contributor to blind "I's." That's pride (click here for the article). What's in the middle of pride: "I?"
Have you ever heard someone use the phrase "blind ambition." That's the same thing as selfish ambition. What's at the heart of selfish ambition? Once again it is "i" in the middle. Whenever "I" becomes the primary focus our peripheral vision is limited. Peripheral vision is defined as the part of the vision that occurs outside the very center of our gaze.
I played basketball in high school. That's where I learned about how essential it is in team sports to use your peripheral vision in order to find the open man to pass the ball to for the open shot or to see an opposing player setting a pick when you were on defense. Everyone who I ever played had peripheral vision. No one was physically handicapped, however, there were a few who were handicapped by their character. Their selfish ambition which was usually expressed through a desire to score the most points often led to them hogging the ball. Their concentrated focus on their personal performance, seeking glory, fame or a scholarship blinded them to other players who were open and had a better shot than they did. Ultimately this would hurt their team.
My friends, Christianity is meant to be lived and expressed as part of a team. The Bible teaches us that Jesus is supposed to be at the center of our vision.
Hebrews 12:1-2Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, "You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." NKJV
My friends, limited peripheral vision is not all bad. It really depends upon the context. Who is at the center of our vision and who has Jesus assigned us to co-labor with for His purpose. We need to be ignoring those things in the world that would distract us but be extra sensitive to the players on the team Christ has assigned us to.
from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.