I remember seeing them quite often on horses. Especially on horses that were in busy places. They are nothing more than a pair of leather flaps that attach to the horse’s bridle. Blinders. Although they are tiny in relation to the size of the horse, they serve a very important function. Blinders help the horse focus on what is in front of it, eliminating things in the horse’s peripheral vision that might cause it to become distracted.
Growing up in Michigan, I had the opportunity to travel to Mackinaw Island on several occasions. If you’re familiar with this beautiful destination, you’re well aware that horses and bicycles are the only accepted methods of transportation on the island. For me, it not only made it memorable, but also lots of fun! Remembering the exhilaration of biking around the island with its gorgeous scenery has me wanting to book my family’s summer vacation. All along the route, horse-drawn carriages would go by with their friendly passengers waving a greeting. You guessed it! All of the horses were wearing blinders.
At first, it may seem unnecessary and maybe even a bit cruel for a horse to wear blinders. But the more I got to thinking about it, those who put blinders on their horses were doing it ultimately to protect the animals. If the horse is only able to see the path straight ahead, it won’t wander from the path into possible danger. Wow! The same is true for me. God’s word provides spiritual ‘blinders,’ or instructions that will help me stay on the path He’s prepared for me, preventing me from being distracted by things that are potentially harmful.
King Solomon gives us good advice in Proverbs 4:23, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (KJV). It’s important to guard our hearts. The things that we look at, and the things that we hear have a tremendous influence on what we say and do. We can’t live our lives with our eyes closed and our ears plugged. So just how do we put on spiritual ‘blinders?’
We can establish some boundaries and borders in our lives that reflect the principles of God’s word. Carefully thinking through what we’ll allow ourselves to see, hear, and do. Determining how we’ll react in challenging situations. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, David penned scripture that can help us. He prayed for God’s help to walk in such a way, that he’d be blameless. “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person. Whoso privily slandereth his neighbor, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me” (Psalm 101:3-6).
We have a choice to make. What will we allow ourselves to look at? What will we listen to? What will we act on? David decided to avoid looking at wicked things. He removed himself from those who gossiped. He chose to hang around with those who were godly and even hired them as his servants. If we set up godly boundaries in these areas of our lives, we’ll have a much better chance of staying on the path and avoiding those situations that will cause us to be distracted. We’ll have a godly legacy to leave our children.
Begin establishing godly borders today, knowing that His plan for you is success: “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:57).
Can you think of a time when your spiritual 'blinders' helped you stay on the right path? I’d love to hear about it!