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Part 2 of an interview with Tim Riddle and Fil Anderson
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Part 2 of an interview with Tim Riddle and Fil Anderson

07 Oct Posted by in Interviews | Comments Off on Part 2 of an interview with Tim Riddle and Fil Anderson
Part 2 of an interview with Tim Riddle and Fil Anderson

We all know blind spots are dangerous when we’re changing lanes at 70 mph on an interstate highway. But just as critical are the blind spots that block us from seeing the truth about ourselves and others. No one is immune to either kind. 

Blind spots are, by definition, invisible to us. No matter how often we’re reminded to “check our blind spots,” we can’t—at least on our own. Our only hope is for God and others to come alongside us and help point them out. Once identified we can start becoming our best and most authentic self.

Blinds Spots coauthors Tim Riddle and Fil Anderson help readers learn how to recognize and avoid blind spots to become more like Jesus, remembering the Holy Spirit is the revealer and healer. By drawing on stories in Scripture and personal experience, the coauthors invite us to engage in an approachable, logical conversation about what blind spots are, why they exist, how to identify and remove them, how to keep them from returning, and how to point them out in others.

Q: You mention the “blind spot” metaphor is common for many Christians. How might readers avoid apathy in exposing and getting rid of blind spots?

Fil Anderson (FA): Minimizing, ignoring or denying our blind spots comes naturally and with gentle ease. On the other hand, avoiding apathy in exposing and ridding ourselves of blind spots requires humility, courage, and other people’s assistance.

Just like a mirror can help us identify a dangerous blind spot while driving, a trusted friend can do the same for our lives. In chapter two of Blind Spots, in the section entitled, “Finding the Aha Moments,” there are several questions that might prove beneficial. As suggested there, “If you feel really brave, answer each of these questions… Ask a few friends or family members to rate you as well.”

Q: The process of becoming like Jesus requires action and hard work, which you mention often. How do you handle the tension between avoiding a legalistic message for readers and cultivating a dependence on the work of the Holy Spirit?

FA: While our transformation is not achieved by us straining and striving, neither does it merely land in our laps. It is an undeserved gift we receive from our benevolent God. It is a way of living, an attitude our mind adopts and an orientation our soul adapts to. It is a gradual, progressive process.

It’s quite like how pickles are made, requiring a cucumber and a brine solution it soaks in. Gradually the solution works its way into the cucumber, changing it to a pickle. While this process takes several weeks, becoming like Jesus takes much longer. Our lives are much more complicated than cucumbers, and many factors are involved in our transformation.

Q: While you speak to what readers should do if blind spots return, what’s one encouragement you might give Christians who repeatedly focus on the same blind spot?

Tim Riddle (TR): First of all, we can’t do it alone. And as Christ followers, we have the promise of the Holy Spirit to help us nail our blind spots to the cross daily if needed. But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so we have to move beyond reactive to proactive. The best proactive strategy is to surround ourselves with a few mirrors to help us recognize the blind spot before it causes damage. We would never consider driving a new car without adjusting the mirrors before backing out of the garage. But in life, we often head out into the world without the proper mirrors in place.

Three great mirrors are:

1)  Our time in scripture.
2)  Our one on one time with our Heavenly Father.
3)  Our willingness to surround ourselves with a few trusted accountability partners to help us see what we can’t.

Q: How does studying Scripture and continuously looking to the life of Jesus help Christians identify, expose, and get rid of their blind spots?

FA: The Bible is like no other book. It is practical and helpful at identifying, exposing and assisting us in the elimination of our blind spots. Its words possess the power to transform our lives, “It is sharper than any double-edged sword. His word can cut through our spirits and souls and through our joints and marrow until it discovers the desires and thoughts of our hearts.” (Hebrews 4:12)

Jesus, the “visible expression of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15), is the perfect image of a human without any blind spots. Because he became human, he understands more than we do about human life. He felt the entire range of human emotions. Because he is also fully God, he understands the devastating and deadly consequences of blind spots. Jesus demonstrates it’s better to hear or tell hurtful truths than comforting lies, and he goes the second mile by showing us the way. Jesus is, therefore, our most reliable friend, redeemer, and guide.

Q: Can you speak to how essential Christian community is in recognizing and removing blind spots?

FA: Having a community of people who know us intimately, love us regardless and are willing to be completely honest with us about our blind spots is, in a word, “utterly” essential in recognizing and removing blind spots. Countless times I have experienced the value of another set of eyes trained on my blind spots, assisting me in seeing what can and will hurt me.

These invaluable “spotters” have demonstrated a level of care that exceeded any concern about how I would respond. One of the wisest choices a person can make is to invite those who know them best to observe and report how they live (publicly and privately).

For more information about Blind Spots: What You Don’t See Can Hurt You and other releases from New Growth Press, visit www.newgrowthpress.com. You can also learn more at www.discoverblindspots.com.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Tim Riddle, author of Blind Spots, is the CEO of Discover Blind Spots whose mission is to help leaders of corporations, churches, and non-profits address blind spots within their organizations. DBS provides help with direction and strategy, clarity in marketing and messaging, and alignment in staff, which leads to a healthy organization and effective leadership.

Previously, Riddle was the Executive Pastor of St. Mark’s Church in Burlington, NC, for thirteen years.  He used his leadership and strategic gifts to lead the staff and ministry of SMC. He also enjoys preaching/teaching and continues to speak at SMC. Prior to SMC, Riddle was the founder and CEO of Riddle & Company, a specialty textile company in Burlington, NC.

Riddle is a graduate of Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC, and Fuller Theological Seminary.  He and his wife, Stacy, live in Burlington, NC, and have four children.

Learn more at www.discoverblindspots.com,
on 
Facebook (Discover Blind Spots)Twitter (@TimRiddle_dbs),
and Instagram (@timriddle_discoverblindspots).

 

Fil Anderson is executive director of Journey Resources, based in Greensboro, NC. He’s a frequent conference speaker, spiritual director, and directs retreats and workshops nationally and internationally. Anderson is a member of the teaching team at Potter’s Inn Soul Care Institute. As a member of the pastoral staff of St. Mark’s Church, he provides on-site soul care to their staff and volunteers. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology.

In addition to Blind Spots, Anderson is the author of Running on Empty and Breaking the Rules. He also contributed to Transformation of a Man’s Heart and is a regular writer for InTouch Magazine and various other publications. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Fuller Theological Seminary, Anderson also completed the Graduate Program in Christian Spiritual Guidance at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. He worked with Young Life for twenty-five years, serving as Area Director and Regional Director before becoming National Director of Training.

Anderson and his wife, Lucie, live in Greensboro and are the parents of three adult children. Avid beach lovers, they frequent Wrightsville Beach, NC, as often as possible.

Learn more at www.filanderson.com.

 

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