The Benefits of Living with Blinders

 

Sometimes horses need to be made to focus and blinders keep the horse’s eyes focused on what is ahead, rather than what is at the side or behind. Racehorses are often given blinders—for the purpose of keeping them single-minded and free of distractions when racing around a racecourse.

Often, as I live and work in this world today, I think blinders should be an option for me. Let me explain.

One of my favorite Bible verses, and perhaps what some call my life verse is from Proverbs 3:3–6. It reads:

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
    bind them around your neck;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
  So you will find favor and good success
    in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

It’s a proverb that calls us to live with blinders on. Why? So we can focus on the wisdom and promises of this Proverb and not the circumstances, troubles, fears, and “what-ifs” that often distract us from what we’re called to do.

The proverb first draws our attention to our outward and inward behaviors. Not only should we not allow kindness and truth leave us in our outward behavior, but we need to write those principles on our hearts. We can’t be double-minded people and live outwardly differently than we live inwardly. The blinders keep us going straight to find favor in both God’s and our neighbor’s, co-workers, friends, and spouse’s eyes.

Then, we must trust Him. We can’t find ourselves looking for every silver bullet. We need to trust Him who has promised: “to equip us with every good that we may do his will and working in us that which is pleasing in his sight (Hebrews 13:21).” Not “some” good things, but “every” good thing we need. Wearing blinders keeps us looking straight into His Word and not at the noise of the periphery. The more we stay looking directly at His Word, the more we’ll know Him personally and trust Him with our lives.

Then, the proverb reminds us that we can’t rely on our own path. It’s telling us to actually have a healthy distrust of self and an acknowledgment that we don’t know what’s best for us. Blinders will help us to look only at Him and say, “In all my ways I acknowledge you.” Why? Because He promises, when we keep our eyes focused and acknowledging Him, He’ll make our paths straight. That was David’s attitude in life. He wrote in Psalm 25:4–5, “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” We can’t seek this kind of help from God if we’re always looking away from Him. If we keep our eyes fixed on circumstances, fears, and the baggage of the past, we’ll lose the focus we need to hear His leading.

Like a racehorse, my eyes can be distracted. I need spiritual blinders, so my eyes look straight ahead into what path God has for me. I need to look straight into His Word, not distracted by the latest 10-Ways-to-Improve-Your-Life book or podcast. I need to have blinders that allow me to look ahead and surrender to Him, and the straight paths He’ll provide, in His way, and in His time.

 

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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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