Children who grow up in a stressful, violent, or abusive environment pick up various coping mechanisms. Whether it’s eating disorders, emotional avoidance, self-distructive behaviors or sexual acting out, these coping skills help soothe unbearable emotional stresses.
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. ~1 Corinthians 13:11-12 (New Living Translation)
Our mirror may reflect an adult but inside we’re still a little child. When stressed, often unknowingly, we turn to our childhood comforter. Some are relatively harmless behaviors, like nail biting; others like eating disorders and cutting, can be very destructive.
It’s scary how easy we can get lost and fall back into old childish patterns. When we’re in pain we may seek relief and pleasure from a habit that will ultimately bring unhappiness.
Characteristics of Infants / Children:
Have a lack of balance.
Don’t know right from wrong.
Easily give in to temptation.
At one time our coping mechanisms helped us get through bad circumstances.But now God has something better for us. He wants us to put away our childish dependencies and look to Him for our comfort.
Characteristics of Spiritually Mature:
Grounded on God’s Word.
Discerning good from evil.
Steadfast in mind and spirit.
God has clearly told me to put away my childish dependencies.Can I do it?Yes, but not alone. It will take a steady diet of God’s Word and a faithful regimen of prayer and meditation. Though I may be fearful and uncertain of my own strength, with God’s help I will do it afraid!
Join the conversation ::
How are you handling your childhood coping mechanisms?
When we hide behind our baggage we limit ourselves, our relationships and our future.
How much baggage do you have?Can you carry it with one hand or do you need a handler to assist you? Either way you’ve come to the right place!
This month we’ve been dealing with a lot of tough issues. We started by working Step 5Admitting to God, ourselves and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Next we reviewed Anne Paulk’s book Restoring Sexual Identity. In week three we focused on the Christian Virtue of Integrity, pressing against the hypocrisies that creep into our lives. And last week we learned how to overcome Identity Crisis.
Today’s topic relates to all the above issues. If we: can’t confess our wrongs to another person, aren’t confident in our sexuality, walk with hypocrisy in our daily life, have doubts about who we are or why we’re in this world, then we’re probably carrying some seriously heavy baggage! What are you carrying in your baggage?
Childhood hurts and wounds
Addictions overcome or recurring
Poor choices with painful consequences
Beliefs of inadequacies, insufficiency, entitlement
How are you handling your baggage? Hiding it in the closet, hoping it will disappear on its own? Buried and smashed by the weight to the point of severe depression? A few tips for baggage handling…
Face it. By accepting the truth of the past, we take away its power over us.
Call a trusted friend or family member. Talking it out relieves much stress and pressure.
Turn to Jesus. There’s no one more qualified to carry our burdens than Jesus Christ.
If you’re tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest. ~ Matthew 11:28
Our past and its baggage has made us who we are today. So we mustn’t live with total regret. We can choose to have a new perspective on our past. Rather than focusing on the negative, identifying ourselves with our shameful mistakes, we can look and see where God was at work.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. ~ Psalm 23:6
God wasthere. Even though we might have made terrible mistakes that forced us and our family into bad consequences; even in our darkest days of sin, God was watching us. He knew our heart’s deepest desires before we did. He knew that one day we would want out of that mess. So He gave us His Grace and Mercy. When we look back and see Grace, God’s goodness and mercy instead of the darkness, pain and mistakes, we’re able to see God’s Presence in all things.
So where do we go from here? Let’s choose to...
Live a life of greatness not mediocrity! 1. Step Out.Don’t make God have to drag you out.Receive what He has for your life! 2. Step Up. Encourage yourself in the Lord. Choose to believe in yourself! 3. Step In. Don’t wait for something to seem official. Destiny calls for faith! When you look at your past where do you see God? Can you see His mercy at work? See God’s goodness in your life. Enjoy @Israel Houghton’s video:http://youtu.be/OKs0aPWGTVk
We started the first week of the year working Step One. Next, I shared a review of my new favorite book. And in week three we started our series Virtues-n-Vices with the topic of Honesty. This week we begin a series of posts called Healing Hurts with the focus today on Denial.
Denial: is a defense mechanism in which a person, faced with an uncomfortable fact, rejects it, insisting that it isn’t true despite overwhelming evidence. It’s an unrealistic hope that a problem is not really happening.
We use one of the following…
Simple denial: denying the reality of the unpleasant reality altogether.
Minimization: admitting the reality but denying it’s seriousness (rationalization).
Projection: admit both the reality and the seriousness but deny any responsibility.
Denial, a type of pain reliever, represses stressful thoughts from the mind; whether subconsciously or consciously, the goal is to avoid dealing with the situation or problem. People expend exhausting amounts of energy maintaining their denial state.
Denial is serious. We can’t heal as long as we pretend our hurts don’t exist.