In order for us to defend ourselves physically, we learn karate, tae-kwan-do .. silat .... but when we want to defend ourselves emotionally, what do we do?
In order to shield ourselves from emotional pain, hurt, disappointments ... the psychologists list common self defense mechanism as follows :
a) Denial (conscious or subconscious refusal to face the truth)
b) Fantasy (escaping the real world)
c) Emotional insulation (withdrawing to avoid rejection)
d) Displacement (taking out frustrations on others)
e) Projection (blaming others)
f) Rationalization (making excuses for the poor behavior)
Lets not look at others ( we can always always see the weaknesses of others loud and clear but blind to our own). Let's pause to honestly look deep within ourselves .... and reflect ... think - at some points I am sure that all of us at one time or another erect this self defense or crawl into this self defense to protect ourselves from what we deem danger zone ... many times in order to defend ourselves we learn to lie in order to keep our selves "safe". Many times we close ourselves so tight in fear of getting hurt again that we become fake to others ... and ourselves .... when we like as imposters or fakes, we then cannot relate and cant go deep to face our own inner self ... and some times .... our brains will be blank ... blank ... nothing inside (I have just heard one youth saying this last Sun .. my aches when I see how people numb emotionally and mentally to the reality of life)...
Is this the only mode we can go on in order to "protect" and "shield" ourselves from hurt and pain?
Neil T Anderson suggest that these methods of self defense are strongholds that we need to tear down. Strongholds as fleshly patterns of thinking programmed into our minds when we learned to live our lives independently of God. These thinking were programmed in us from our worldview that was shaped by our environment that we live.
So, how then to refresh the program that was already installed in us? I guess we cannot entirely press the "delete" button to erase what is already programmed in us but .. the thing that we can do is to "refresh" it by new things ... --- in Paul's terminology - renewing our minds .... and we can only do it with the help from the Holy Spirit through His Word.
"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against
the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
(2 Cor 10:3-5)
I would like to offer another method - the challenge of taking God's Word as it is ... so .. if God is the sun and shield (Psalms 84:11) and if God is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold (Psalms 18:2), can I trust Him to shield me while I hide under the shadows of His wings till the danger moment is over?
I think that many times, we are actually not that afraid of the pain or hurt that we may get from a situation, I think that the greatest challenge for our is to to accept our ourselves especially when our weaknesses is revealed in these times .... so, in actual fact, we are shielding ourselves from ourselves ... Lord have mercy on us .. Yes .. we need You to set us free from this stronghold and renew us as the new creation that You have created us to be when we accept You into our lives. Amen!