13/06/2018: Fig Leaves: Defense Mechanisms | Colleen Stringer

Wed 13 June 2018 Bible Study “Fig Leaves-Defense Mechanisms” Colleen Stringer

Alvin Toffler said: “Those who are the literate of the future will not be those who can read and write. It will be those who can learn, un-learn, and re-learn.”

3John 1-4 NKJV Salutation: the Elder, to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth: Beloved I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. Psalm 51: David awareness…Behold you desire truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden part you will make me to know wisdom Genesis 1 &2 – Perfect picture of wholeness and completeness

Genesis 3 – Picture of Brokenness: Rebellion – sin chaos – new emotions.

Genesis 3:6-13NIV Read

 “Layers of Protection”: This reference is not just physical nudity, but also to the exposure and rejection in the soul of man.  Rejection is the deepest fear in the human heart. From that day to this, mankind has searched for ways to cover up their deep feelings of insecurity, inferiority and insignificance.

Genesis 1:26 NKJV Then God said “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…

Identity: Security; self-worth; significance

Identity Crisis: insecurity; inferiority; insignificance

Definition of Defense Mechanisms

Charles Morris defines Defense Mechanisms as the ways in which people react to frustration and conflicts…by deceiving themselves about their real desires and goals in an effort to maintain their self-esteem and avoid anxiety.

5 Basic Facts about Defense Mechanisms
1.      Unconscious, or beyond the awareness of the person using them.

  1. Self deceiving – James 1:21-22 (deception…mirror) Jeremiah 17:9-10
  2. Root is fear and anxiety.
  3. Usually begin in childhood. “Real Me” hidden.

How can we know about it: Search me, O Lord – Psalm 139

God has given us “three resources”, to enable us to bring to light a deeper dependency on the Lord; a better relational style; increased self awareness; a healthier and more mature personality
1.      The Word of God – Hebrews 4:12 (KJ) living, powerful and sharper

  1. The Spirit of God – Psalm 139:23-24 search me O Lord
  2. The People of God – Hebrews 3:13 exhort one another daily

Remember: First step to freedom is taking responsibility for self.

Most Frequently seen Defense Mechanisms:
Repression  /  Suppression  /  Compensation  /  Projection  /  Displacement  /  Denial  /  Intellectualization  /  Reaction  /  Formation  /  Rationalization  /  Regression  /  Introjections  /  Fantasy  /  Fixation  /  Blocking  /  Isolation  /  Acting out  /  Controlling  /  Pharisees.

          Welcome to Fig Leaf Land!

  1. Extreme shyness: Chronically shy
  2. Over Talkativeness: I’m in control
  3. Feigned Humility: Humility is not self-belittlement. It is, knowing who you are. Humility is not inferiority.
  4. Exaggerated Behaviour: Someone who feels small on inside but acts big on outside.
  5. Saccharin Sweetness: What’s behind the smile?
  6. Blame Shifting: we shift “now look what you made me do”.

Dr Wolf Kent: Someone spits on you they make you wet – you choose to be angry.

  1. Anger Dumping and Stuffing
  2. Control and Manipulation:
  3. Hibernation: Nuts, Risk, Hurt, Run back, Wait for coast for clear
  4. Faith Mask: Super spiritual, shield.
  5. Argumentation:
  6. Peace at any Price; Nice guy.

When Christians attempt to communicate from behind these defensive layers all we succeed in doing is experiencing superficial fellowship – not inviting to outside world.        

          Acceptance and Understanding: Acceptance does not mean approval of that person’s behaviour. Learn to differentiate between a person and their behaviour.  Some Christians disagreeable / downright rude / obnoxious; e.g. Jesus so accepting, friend of sinners.  People knew Jesus loved them.  Accept the person but disapprove of their behaviour. Acceptance and understanding is a key issue in developing the ministry of    encouragement within Body of Christ. Let’s see each other with double vision potential and as a person made in the image of God; therefore we have intrinsic worth: Amen