"The coming destruction can never touch us, for we have built a strong refuge made of lies and deception." - Isaiah 28:15 NLT
Thoughts for Today
Defenses are behaviors we use to cover up feelings, hiding them from ourselves and from others. Common defenses include blaming, rationalizing, or even just hiding behind a smile.
Denial is one of the most common defenses. In the case of loved ones struggling with a life-controlling problem, we demonstrate denial when we feel the need to protect and cover up their behavior. The result can be that we join them in their denial. Or we may be the one struggling with our own problems, but denying them—even to ourselves.
We deny the truth to keep our loved ones or ourselves safe. But in reality, denial only leads to more problems. In the end, denial results in distorted thinking, which can lead to delusion and hopelessness.
Consider this …
We need to return to the place of honestly acknowledging our true feelings and dealing with them. Some of the most common negative feelings include anger, sadness, fear, guilt 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? Your first step out of the struggle is to admit the feelings to God, to yourself and to others. Only then can you begin the road out of the cover-up and into recovery.
Father, I have tried to convince myself that if I don't admit these problems, I'll be safe from them. I realize now I've been deceiving myself. I am struggling and I need your help. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …Concerned Persons: Because We Need Each Other by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. This group is designed for the many people who have a current or past relationship with a person who has a life-controlling problem.
- It emphasizes the need we all have for each other.
- It helps people focus on Christ rather than on the problem.
- It serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by providing a way to minister to people's felt needs and then pointing them to Christ.
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.
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