Defensiveness: A Sign of Pride or Immaturity?

Convicting and thought provoking.

Two questions for you, dear reader:

When you’re challenged, do you offer a defense or are you being defensive?

How do you know the difference?

HT: Joel @ 5Pt Salt

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  • Keystone

    Nice to see a YouTube I can read (I do not hear)!

    I once moved residence, and to conserve space, I placed a baseball bat inside a huge, rolled photograph, itself wrapped in cardboard. I forgot about it after many years. One day in wading through basement crud accumulations in bare feet, I lifted the photograph in the tube, forgetting the baseball bat within. The bat was gifted with gravity and emerged from the cocoon, only to plunge to the floor cement. The only obstruction between bat and cement floor was my bare, big toe. Man, that hurt, and I lost the nail as well. To this day, I flinch when someone approaches that big toe….the new nail grew in wrong and it remains unprotected properly.

    Many souls and spirits of individuals have met with a bat too, and not by choice or expected. There is a tendency for those injured souls to flinch, just as I do with my body from a prior injury. To sum all defensiveness with the barometric “metric”, indirectly removes all other possibilities.

    When challenged, all of us go through the motion of an instantaneous debate on the MERITS and MOTIVES of the challenger. It is easier to assess motives than merits to elude examination within.

    I was recently at Gethsemane in the Holy Land, and the question of Christ to his Father, about there being any other way, made me think a tad of defensiveness in Christ at that moment reasonable.
    I believe He was earlier defensive to his parents when Joseph and Mary lost him in Jerusalem, returned and searched frantically for the “lost Shepherd”, and he said to his mom “where else would I be but my Father’s house”?
    (my paraphrase). Anyone with a teenager knows what I mean.

    Challenges take many forms and it is incumbant to determine if they have merit before responding in any way.

    That said, John Bevere writes a powerful argument that the chief stronghold employed by Satan is to get a believer to take offense.
    His book is titled “The Bait Of Satan” and taking offense is the bait!

    The game of football requires both a defense and an offense. Regrettably, the game of life does too. And in both games, there is a season for everything under the heavens. BOTH can be powerfully employed as winning strategies, or abused to lose the game.

    Many have been hurt spiritually by the church (or specific people in the church) and I suspect that influences their spiritual defensiveness longer than we think. We are called upon to “work out our salvation” although we know it has been worked out for us.

    Being defensive is not necessarily a bad thing. It helps many who have been hurt, to survive and cope. Perhaps God created the turtle to show us that there is a time to retreat your head within, and a time to pull your head out and move forward.
    And I believe the story shows the turtle was victorious in crossing the finish line before the hare. That narrative also explores good pride and bad pride too. Like defensiveness, pride takes many forms….not all of them bad.

    The post is good food for thought.
    I pray the comment becomes the same.

    • Aaron Armstrong

      Welcome back, Keystone! I’ve missed your engaging comments.

      Good food for thought here. This statement:

      “Challenges take many forms and it is incumbant to determine if they have merit before responding in any way.”

      is hugely important to keep in mind. I wonder if that might be the key to the difference between offering defense and being defensive? Sinful reaction vs. thoughtful measured response?

      You’ve got me thinking on that. Thanks!