Defenses are behaviors we use to cover up or avoid uncomfortable feelings or discomfort; hiding them from others, and worse yet…from ourselves. Common defenses include suppressing, blaming, rationalizing, or even just hiding behind a smile.
Denial is one of our most common defenses. In the case of a loved one struggling with a life controlling addiction problem, we demonstrate denial when we feel the need to protect or cover up their behavior. Or we may be struggling with our own problems but denying them even to ourselves…or we underestimate their gravity and damage to others and ourselves. A big cause is believing that our denial will keep our loved ones or ourselves “safe.” In reality, denial doesn’t allow problem recognition and the necessary solutions. It only leads to more problems. Denial is distorted thinking, leading to destruction and helplessness.
One reason we develop dysfunctional defenses is our lack of confidence in and our inability to handle discomfort. Some of the most common negative feelings you may experience include anger, anxiety, jealousy, sadness, fear, guilt, loneliness, and shame. Are you struggling with any of these feelings or similar ones? Are you smiling your way through each day while the struggle inside you rages? These negative feelings aren’t sins, but they are uncomfortable. God and Jesus even experienced many of these feelings. The Holy Bible is the book about why we are in pain and what God has provided to ease and melt away our pain.
Today, return to the place of honestly acknowledging your true feelings and dealing with them. Your first step out of the struggle is to admit the feelings to yourself, to God, and to others you know you can trust. No Pain, No Gain. God will provide and equip. Act as if these 2 statements are true…and see miraculous growth happen for you…and in your relationship with God. Only then can you begin the road out of the cover-up and into recovery. Your decision, choose well.
Dear God, I have tried to convince myself that if I don’t admit to these problems, that if I deny them, then I’ll be safe from them. I realize now I’ve been deceiving myself. I am struggling and I need your help. Help me, Father, to move from cover-up to recovery. I know You’ll provide peace and comfort. Help me stop looking in the wrong places and show me the right places to look for your abundant peace and grace. I pray this in the name of the One You sent to remove the cover-up by covering me with His blood, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death, with the grave we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by, it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place.”
And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.