Am I in Denial? The Deception and the Truth

Am I in Denial?  Signs you may be in Denial, the Deception and the Truth

We admitted that we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors and that our lives had become unmanageable.

“I can stop any time I want to.”  “I have it under control”  “I’m not hurting anyone.”  “I’m stronger than other people.”  “It really isn’t that bad.” “I don’t need to change”.

In recovery we call this denial.  For me that was always one of the laughable insults.

Denial is far from laughable. It is by far one of  the biggest weapon the enemy uses weaken us.  Because as long as we keep silent about our doubts, fears,  hurts, and hang-ups and limitations, the harder it is for us be in a position to say yes to the life God has for us.   It is hard to accept that people of faith can be in denial,  but I find it easier to accept the phrase self-deception.  Even the Bible hall of Famers were deceived, and suffered the effects of denial.  For this lesson we will take a look at the life of one such Bible hero,  review some of the signs of denial, its toll on our lives, and how the bible addresses the deceptions. 

The Bible tells the story about one of Israel’s judges, Sampson.   He literally had superhuman strength, and being a believer of God his worked to free his people from their enemy the Philistines.  He believed he was indestructible, and often abused the strength that God had given him for his own satisfaction.   His downfall came at the hands of a woman who was paid by his enemies to find out his weakness.  Delilah would coax Samson into telling her the secret of his strength and he would lie to her.   It should have been obvious to Sampson that this woman he desired so much was dangerous.  His denial kept him from seeing the truth. He finally gave in to Delilah manipulations and gave what she was after.  She then turned him over to his enemies blinded him and took him captive.

Romans 7:18 says, “ I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.”    Which is step one:

One of Celebrate Recovery®’s acrostics for this step  is DENIAL will help us to recognize the signs that we are being in self deception.

Disables our feelings

Energy Lost

Negates Growth

Isolates us from God

Alienates us from relationships

Lengthens pain

 

Disables our feelings:

You may be in denial if your primary feelings are anger and rage.

Denial provides an escape from feeling.

Yet the feelings we are trying to escaping are what we need to examine to be free.

“They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of destructive habits – for a man is a slave of anything that has conquered him” (2 Peter 2:19 GNB).

Energy Lost:

You may be in denial if you  feel physically or emotionally tired most of the time.

Denial has a side effect of anxiety which physiologically takes a toll on our bodies.  We may find ourselves trying to run from our past, dreading the future, or fighting against change.   

Yet, it is only in the present, today that we can make positive change, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

“He frees the prisoners…: he lifts the burdens from those bent down beneath their loads.” (Psalm 146: 7-7)

Negates growth:

You may be in denial if you feel as if things are not getting any better.

Denial keeps us sick.  We are as “sick as our secrets”.  Yet we cannot grow in recovery until we are ready to step out of denial  and into truth.

“They cried to the Lord in their troubles, and he rescued them!  He lead them from their darkness and shadow of death and snapped their chains.”  (Psalm 107: 13-14 TBL).

Isolates us from God:

You might be in denial if you feel as though you are in the dark.

Yet God’s light shines on the truth and it is in truth that we are set free.

“God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we live and od not live by the truth. But I we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his sun, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:5-7)

Alienates us from our relationships:

You might be in denial you tell yourself, “If they really knew me they would not accept me”.

We may use defensiveness, deception, blaming, and secrets to be accepted.   Yet it is being truthful and open that we learn to accept one another in relationships.

“Stop Lying to each other; tell the truth, for we are parts of each other and when we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves.” (Ephesians 4:25 TBL).

Lengthens the pain:

You might be in denial if  you are sick of being in pain.

We think that denial protects us from pain but really allows it to eventually turn to shame and guilt.  Yet God desires break us free from the shame and guilt.

“God’s promise:  “I will give you back your health and heal your wounds.” (Jeremiah 30:17 TBL).

The bible tells us that “You can’t heal a wound by saying it’s not there!”  Jeremiah 6:14 (TBL).

You may want to consider addressing denial by asking yourself the following questions:

How do you handle pain and disappiontment?
What was your family secret?
In what areas of your life do your recognize some of the effects of denial?
 

Again we say welcome to Celebrate recovery.  Today by being here you have taken another step forward in your recovery.  Keep coming back!

 

If you like this blog or post please remember to share it with someone.  We encourage your feedback, comments will treated as confidential.

 

Creative Commons License   Am I in Denial 2012 by

RAMONA TAYLOR is licensed under a

Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at “Breaking Free“.

 

 

Submit my life and Will to Christ

Rest in Submission

Three times I have started this post (… ok now four five….)

but I am going to keep moving forward. After all, my job is

to do the writing …not judge the writing.

Yesterday, I think that God was trying to get my attention. I started my morning reading a lesson (devotional) in my Life Recovery Bible. I read where Jesus says:

“Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light.” –Mathew 11:28 (NLV)

The commentary was called Submission and Rest. I see now that the lesson was reminding me that there was rest in submission. But at the time I was thinking about how in recovery I do not have to be alone. I have discovered how God brings healing when I am safe to share with another person what I may have otherwise censored as too personal, silly, petty, dumb, ridiculous, or embarrassing. It is no wonder why the Bible says:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9 (NASB) (more…)

Not Ready to Forgive

I Can’t Deny that Forgiveness is Good but…

Years ago whenever I heard teachings on forgiveness, I didn’t listen too closely because I felt I was a very forgiving person. There are many wise sayings about forgiveness, and I could pay them all lip service, but I didn’t need them. And while forgiveness can be considered a “spiritual” matter for some, the Mayo clinic acknowleges the importance of forgiveness. Still, I fooled myself into believing that forgiveness was not a problem for me.

Dismisal Hinders Forgiveness

Before taking steps on “how to forgive” It is important to acknowlege a need to forgive or be forgiven. Part of the problem may have been misunderstanding whatforgivenss means. I was mistaking “write off” for (more…)

God and Diapers

Being Cleaned Up By God

Originally published in “Breaking Free”

I would guess that my actions meet with disapproval at times when I choose to go out of my way to “cater” to my son. I imagine that observers are asking themselves, “Why does a young adult man who is marginally contributing to the family, get the same treatment I get when I do so much more?” I counter this imagined question with my own answer, “unmerited favor.” That favor is extended to each of my children. Now that they are grown and becoming more and more independent it brings me joy when they ask me to do something for them. They don’t always get it but, I do not keep a ledger of “who deserves what”. Who knows that may be what keeps them from coming to me more.

1John1:8-9 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin, and cleans us from all unrighteousness. IJohn:8-9 KJV

Today it so happened that my Bible reading was 1John1:8—9 . The picture that came to mind as I read this was changing diapers. I remembered how I changed my babies and cleaned them every time they dirtied their diapers. No matter how many times a day, season after season, I changed them and cleaned them. I didn’t keep track of how many times I had to change and clean them either. (According to the National Association of Diaper Services, that is over 70 Diapers in a week). I think by the third child I realized that learning to use the potty had more to do with how much they wanted to imitate me and their siblings than it did any disapproval or approval from me. According to the Center for Effective Parenting, toilet training is process, that has more to do with a childs readiness, than any battle of the wills. But regardless I am surely not using the fact that I changed and cleaned and cared for my children as babies , as a reason to call in favors or good behavior from them.

In a small way that is how I see the unmerited favor in which God is faithful to forgive us our sin and cleans us from all unrighteousness. Sin is something I am going to do, and it stinks who am I kidding? But, no matter how many times I soil myself, God is willing to clean me off and give me a kiss on the head and a pat on the bottom and send me on my way. I can remember as a toddler, having an “accident” and being old enough to “know better” I tried to hide my soiled clothes…DISASTER. What was different …shame. Maybe that is a reason Jesus tells us that we are to be like little children…Willing to be washed clean!

Phil Reinders had a similar article entitled, “Changing Diapers as an act of Love“. I came across after writing this piece and found it to be worth checking out.