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The Third Option - Part 4, The Unknown Plank of Blind Spots
Miles McPherson - September 30, 2018

Message Recap

Pastor Miles wants to know what God is doing in your life! If you have a story about what God is doing in your life through this series or the message of this book, text MYSTORY to 52525. 

Pastor Miles references the movie Remember the Titans. He explains that it’s about a high school that is integrated with a half White and half Black football team. At the beginning of the movie, they couldn’t get along. But toward the end of the movie, they did begin to get along. 

At one point in the movie, one of the characters, Sunshine, a White player, was walking with two of his Black football player friends. Sunshine suggested they go into a restaurant together, but the other two said, “We can’t go in there.” But he insisted it would be okay. 

When they got inside, the manager forced them to leave. Petey, one of the African American players said, “We told you that they weren’t going to accept us.” 

Sunshine responded, “I didn’t know.” 

He had a blind spot.  

Most people will say that they aren’t racist. But everybody is biased. We have a less-than-neutral view of things. We have blind spots.

A blind spot is being unaware of what you cannot see. The cause is “the unknown plank” in your eye.

He was blind to what he was blind to.

A blind spot is being unaware of what you cannot see. The cause is “the unknown plank” in your eye.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what [b]judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5

That plank in your eye, that means there is something you cannot see in somebody else’s life. That doesn’t make you a racist. That just makes you blind to something.

1. Admit that there is a plank. 

I need to admit that I have a plank in my eye.

Pastor Miles had us look at the box in the lesson plan in order to demonstrate how we have blind spots. The dot in the box disappears as you move the box closer. This is a blind spot in your retina.

We all have a social or racial blind spot. There are things that you can’t see. There are things you can’t see about yourself.

Social Narrative: The story that shapes your view of the world.
Where you grew up and who you grew up with causes there to be a certain perspective about everyone else. It helps shape your view. It gives you a prescription for the lens in which you see everything.

Your social narrative gives you lenses and says, “Here’s how you should see the world.” And everybody has their own social narrative. However, because it only shows you a limited aspect of the world, it makes you blind to the other social narratives. 

Racial Blind Spots: Being unaware of being racially offensive while being racially offensive.
You don’t know what you don’t know. 

Our social narrative fills in our racial blind spots. “Here’s why you shouldn’t trust those people.” “Here’s why those people said that.” That’s your social narrative telling you that. It’s not always true, and it’s not always right. It can put assumptions in your head about people that you actually don’t really know.

Sometimes we need to take a step back and think, “Maybe I’m wrong about those people.”

Your brain will fill in what you don’t know based on what you do know, which a lot of the time, is not even correct. That’s a blind spot.

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?”
Jeremiah 17:9

Your heart tells you that your experience and your view is the truth and it’s superior to other people’s. Your social narrative is real, but it’s only part of the bigger puzzle.

2. Understand the nature of the plank. 

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

Imagine if we all went to somebody who was ethnically and/or culturally different than ourselves and asked, “Is there any way I’m offensive to you?” You know what that says about you? That you want to learn and you want to grow. 

Pastor Miles uses another example of having men asking the ladies in their life if anything they do makes them feel uncomfortable.

If you want to understand and remove the plank, just ask somebody. 

On the back of the lesson plan there is a link to the Implicit Bias test you can take to view what biases you have. 

Pastor Miles references chapter 5 and 6 to name some of the blind spots that people have. 

News stations are biased. Media outlets are biased. And they make money on division. They are on one side or the other. Because we live in an “us” vs. “them” culture, once you decide to identify as “us” you can never agree with “them.” But there is a third option, that we can honor what we have in common.

3. The removal of, not the protection of the plank, nurtures unity.

This is where we have to live. Because once you learn about your blind spot but choose to not do anything about it, now that’s a problem.

22Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. 23 So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything.

24 And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.”

25 Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. 26 Then He sent him away to his house, saying, [d]“Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.” Mark 8:22-25

This is a process. You all have people in your life (work, school, etc.) from a different culture that don’t look like you. Please do not assume that you are so good that you couldn’t possibly have an impure thought. Ask the Lord to search your heart so you can have better relationships.

We have a very limited view of the world, so ask the Lord to show you your blind spots. Ask your friends. Let’s do better for God than just sitting here. Let’s take it to another level. Then let’s take it out to the world. 

The Third Option

This 4-part series explores racism, and hope and healing for a racially divided nation. In Part 4, Pastor Miles discusses blind spots developed from social narratives and asks us to identify our blinds spots and remove them.

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