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
Isolates us from God
Alienates us from relationships
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).
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)
You may be in denial if you feel as if things are not getting any better.
“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!
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Am I in Denial 2012 by
RAMONA TAYLOR is licensed under a
Based on a work at “Breaking Free“.