If you have spent time with me, you have seen me get defensive over both the trivial and the significant. It has only been the last few years that I have started to have self-awareness of my defensive nature, and for this, I am thankful. In a men’s group, I participated in, each week, we held each other accountable using a “commitment to change” Pure Desire tool, and I would work on not being defensive; with little progress.
Thankfully, along the way, I have started to see my defensiveness as part of who I am, acknowledge it as a sin, and that it may not go away. A talk (Christ’s Power is Made Perfect in Weakness) by John Piper, where he spoke about the Apostle Paul’s ‘thorn in his flesh,’ helped me understand that my weaknesses are a blessing. The talk from piper talks about how to pray during struggles and much, much more.
I have learned that my defensive nature mostly only hurts others when I open my mouth. This understanding has been a tremendous help as all I have to do is keep my mouth shut. Invariably, my pride shows up, and I say something I regret. When this happens, I need to be better, apologize, explain my struggle with being defensive, and ask people to please let me know when they see me being defensive.
So why do I get defensive? I have a sinful nature. I find comfort in learning about myself and knowing that God is renewing my mind, little by little, His perfect timing, not mine.
Romans 12:2 (ESV) “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
PS: I just reread a couple other posts on building relationships, good reminders for myself.