January 13, 2010

The prison of defensiveness

Imagine with me for a moment that one day, a police officer stops you and throws you into jail. He refuses to take any excuses, and no matter what you tell him, he has been convinced that you are guilty. As you are arrested, knowing that you are completely innocent against any charges…what happens in your mind? What is coming out of your mouth? If it is me, I am thinking of how to defend myself, I am coming up with any “wise thing” that I can say to convince him/her that I am innocent. I would spin around and around trying to prove my case……and then, if the police officer was refusing to listen, I would begin to get angry, and I am sure that my attitude would stink.

The truth is that defensiveness is human nature, and defensiveness creates a prison of its own. These situations happen daily…maybe it’s not as extreme as being arrested, but people may come to their own judgments about you. They may be convinced that they know the motives of your heart. They may, in fact, decide that they just don’t “like you”. *gasp!*….and I don’t know about you, but the very same defensiveness that I discussed in the extreme case above, happens inside of me. I start by thinking of how to defend myself, how to prove that I am innocent, how to force them to see the motives of my heart…and my mouth, by this point is spinning and talking very fast…and I might even get angry as I see that the person is convinced of my guilt. As I start down the path of defensiveness, I step right into sin, I start slipping into people pleasing mode , as I begin to worry about how to prove my innocence in the “right way”, I start getting angry…and very often I can lash out in my anger, and then I leave the situation and replay it over and over in my mind….spinning myself into a prison of my defensiveness.

"But when they arrest you, (accuse you, misunderstand you, etc (and they will)), do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking thru you!” Matthew 10:19-20 (emphasis mine)

“So again, Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of?” But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.” Mark 15:4-5

Yowza! No defensiveness here. God encourages us, not to worry about how to defend ourselves. His spirit will speak thru us in the right time, in the right way. How different would our relationships look if we actually put these scriptures into practice? How different would our relationships look if defensiveness evaporated? I am asking God to change this in me, to bring me to a place where I stop trying to defend my rights…as if I have any anyways….My right is simply to be daughter of the King. Period!

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