In the last Saturday Post I linked to an article about blind spots, but the article’s message so resonated with me that I thought to quote the main section of it here.
Talking specifically about his writing, Russ Ramsey shares his appreciation for editor revisions of his work. As you read, pay close attention to the way he views the editor’s corrections, suggestions, and improvements.
I love sending my best first pass to an editor. I love that feeling of having accomplished something weighty. And I love it when the editor sends it back covered in red ink. I really do. I feel that the editor just made the work better. They saw what I could not see and spoke into it, and in doing so, made it stronger.
Still, whenever someone edits our work, or brings constructive criticism of any kind to the labors we take on, we have a choice to make. Will we receive the criticism as a wound, or as a gift? That depends on whether or not we’re okay with having blind spots and limits. Learning to function within our limits brings us face to face with our pride. And anything that humbles the proud has inherent virtue.
Love for the craft of writing is not my struggle. But when I go back and read things I wrote even a year ago, I see weaknesses in that writing I did not recognize at the time. What makes me think the same will not be true a year from now when I look back on these words I write today?
This fact tells me two things about my writing: 1. I will always have blind spots. and 2. If I keep at it, I will get better.
The reason I wanted to post this quote was because the heart of its message is about so much more than the craft of writing, but it is about wisdom for living. We all have blind spots in every area. We have blind spots in our knowledge, our behavior, our ministries, our jobs, our parenting, our marriages, our relationships, and everything else in our life. We don’t see ourselves with perfect clarity. In fact, much of the time we have the most distorted view of ourselves and our work out of anyone. We need others to speak truth to us and we need hearts ready to receive it.
But hopefully, this isn’t the first time you’ve thought about this.
“Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.” Proverbs 15:32
“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.” Proverbs 12:1
“My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof…” Proverbs 3:11
What do you do with the correction of others? Do you receive it as a gift or as a wound? Do you seek it like a treasure offered for your good and growth? Your answers will determine your growth. Accept that you have blind spots and call out for the help of others to see, repent, and grow.