HOW MUCH ENERGY DO YOU USE TO DEFEND YOURSELF?
Has The Holy Spirit shown you something you need help to change since last writing? I really hope so. We should all be in a process of sanctification. God has shown me several things. We must never think that we are there where we should be. God doesn’t give up on us and nor should we.
I will continue to write about rationalization. This time I will mention prejudices. If we didn’t receive the thing we wished for, we might say that the reason was that the person in charge might be an Indian, Jew or Scottish. These are only mentioned as examples. We might easily generalize an entire tribe, group or nation. That is not right at all. People think that I am very good in skiing since I am Norwegian and we have a saying that Norwegians are born with skis on their feet. Sometimes we say that certain people lie because they come from another country. We might say that we are cheated because the person in question comes from so and so country.
Some children and even adults do not get the wanted attention and the person who is lacking this attention might start a negative behavior. This gives them a lot of negative attention and that is better than no attention at all. These kinds of reactions are most of the time subconscious. Others might get sick in order to get attention. One might not understand that they are opening up for sicknesses when they lack love and feel rejected. Babies can actually die if they are not touched so these reactions are not so strange as we might think. I do not believe that many say to themselves: “I will get sick now since nobody loves me, but these mechanisms work subconsciously. I am naturally not saying that all sicknesses come from this, but it might happen.
If you feel like a failure, you might increase your self-image by identifying with others. Heroes and idol-worship belong to this defense-mechanism. This is quite common with children. They identify with one of their parents or siblings. Haven’t you heard children saying: “My daddy is the strongest in the world and he will get you” One might not only identify with an individual, but also with successful groups. It is easy to identify with a major role-figure in a film, theater or a book. If this is going too far, one can get sick and one can’t distinguish between one’s own personality and that of the role-model. What about us Christians? We strive to be like Jesus. We must never say we are Jesus, but the spirit of Jesus lives inside of us. One part of us becomes pure and righteous, worthy of heaven. Our goal is to be like Jesus, but God has created you in His image and He has made each and every one of us different for a special purpose.
It is right for us Christians to identify with Jesus, but do not use Jesus as a defense if you fail.
I can almost hear some of you asking what I mean by this. I have met people who are not paying their rent and say they live by faith. If you live by faith, you pay your rent. Jesus never asked you to for example go to a Bible School and quit your job if you couldn’t meet your requirements. Others are attacking religious people in public and might even threaten them saying that Jesus didn’t like the Pharisees. Jesus loves everybody, but He didn’t like the attitudes of the Pharisees. We are not supposed to agree with everybody, but love everybody. Jesus might easily be used as a defense for your own anger and irritations.
Most of us have emotions and traits in our lives that we do not particularly like and accept. We might not even want to see them and be open about them. I remember a friend of mine from many years back. He was very hurt in a particular situation and I asked if he was angry. He was tramping on the floor and said with loud voice: “ I am not angry, I am not angry.” He was obviously angry, but couldn’t admit that. Yesterday I was together with one who obviously was proud, but wasn’t willing to admit that. We read in 1.Pet.5:5 that God resists the proud, but gives grace the humble. We are totally dependent on God’s grace. Sometimes we do not understand why certain things happen to us, but pride is moving us away from His grace. We really can’t afford being proud.
When we are projecting, we are attributing to other persons or groups of persons qualities and emotions that we cannot accept in ourselves.
The psychologists say that we externalize an inner conflict. This mechanism is very harmful for the person to whom you project. When we project, we can easily judge others and say that they are or do things that are totally foreign to them. I am not saying that we are wrong when we quote the Word of God, but I am describing the mechanism of projection.
Another defense-mechanism is repression and forgetting.
We forget and remember according to our need. When we repress unpleasant experiences from our consciousness, we take away what might be unpleasant for our self-image. Others repress in order to cover up for fear, shame, guilt and other strong emotions. We might repress pain because the pain is too painful. Sexual needs and desires are often repressed, but they do not disappear. Repression takes place in both healthy, normal individuals as well as sick ones. Is repression something wrong? I seriously do not believe that lust and evil desires that stem from our flesh should rule us. That is not biblical. The Bible says that we should resist the temptations from the devil and he will flee from us. The Holy Spirit will help us to resist the devil. I have had people asking me to ask God to take away sexual desires. I said that God will not take away what He has created, but He can put a cover over them until the person get married and can live a normal sex life.
I often meet people with problems coming from repressed reactions. Psychologists might say that these forgotten experiences can be called into light by hypnosis. I do not want any hypnosis, but I want revelations from The Holy Spirit. He is gentle and can take away pain, heal wounds and deliver you from demons that might have entered through the painful experiences. You can read more about this in my book.
When we talk about this as a defense-mechanism, we say that the person reverts to previous level of behavior. We occasionally see that a child of three or four might revert to infantile behavior when a baby arrives in the family. The baby gets a lot of attention and the other child feels neglected and wants the same. When I visit a family with older children than the newly arrived baby, I usually have a small gift to everybody and give them all some attention.
If one moves and cannot adjust to the new place, one can actually get sick and be forced to go back to the place one missed so terribly. A form of missing might be natural, but if it is too much, it is not a natural reaction. When one gets married, one is supposed to leave one’s parents in order to build one’s own family, but some wants to keep his or her position in the home of the parents and run home away from responsibilities and act as a child again. I do not want to be misunderstood. We should naturally visit our parents. The Bible says that we should honor them, but we should take the role of a wife and mother and husband and father when we are grown-up. I believe all of us have areas where we react irrationally. Ask The Holy Spirit to reveal the repressed and hidden reason for it. He will help you. I will write about defense-mechanisms once more. Why do I do this since this is knowledge based on psychology?
I DO IT IN ORDER FOR YOU TO BE MORE CONSCIOUS ABOUT YOUR WAYS OF REACTIONS.