There It Was, Right Behind Me...

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An early morning shock provides a surprising view of an age-old problem.


In the dark hours of a recent morning, I found myself trying to wake up a bit more as I placed my personal effects into the cubbyhole of our local gym. Only a few other people were there so early in the morning, so I was looking forward to some pleasant and meditative isolation. Or so I thought.

I moved my personal effects to the shelf, and looked up at the security monitor screen, hooked up to a camera pointed right at my back. It was then that I saw it, coming out of nowhere, right behind me.

It was my bald spot.

Okay, maybe it is not yet a full-fledged bald spot. Maybe the grass is just a bit thinner on that patch of the lawn. But sometimes, when I catch a rare glimpse, it looks more like a good place for the kids to dig in the dirt, unobstructed.

Yep, a bald spot.

Not that I mind so much. My grandfathers' hairlines had warned me that this day would come. I have consoled myself with thoughts of decreased hair maintenance, planning all I would do in the extra hours gained each day. But I digress.

It occurred to me that although I have only seen it a couple of times, my wife has seen it often. As have my children, and my neighbors, and anyone else who has recently seen the back of my head.

Then it struck me: here was something that is always with me, but even though others can see it easily, it is almost impossible for me to see without help (angled mirrors, security cameras and the like). I was reminded of a Bible verse. "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9).

No, we do not all have bald spots. But we all have areas where others can see us better than we can see ourselves. Our own flaws can remain almost invisible to us. Think of the guy who, when told he has a bad temper, yells in response: "No, I don't!"

How do you react when another person points out some flaw in your character or behavior? We may be quick to say that the other person is "too sensitive" or "doesn't understand" the situation. Sometimes our critics can be wrong. But is there a way—a truly objective way—to know when they are right? Is there a perfect mirror that can help us see the "bald spots" in our lives?

There is! God's word, and His law, can help us see what we normally cannot, as long as we are willing to act on what He shows us. We read: "For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does" (James 1:23–25). God's word can dispel the illusion cast by our self-deceiving heart, for "the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).

Maybe you cannot see it, but that does not mean it is not there—just like the little bald spot on my head. Never let your spiritual bald spot catch you off guard! If you would like help in using the wonderful mirror of God's word to show you how to improve your life, please request your free copy of our booklets The Ten Commandments and What Is a True Christian? With God's help, you may even be able to mend your bald spot!

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