Self-protection isn’t new. People disappoint us, so we put up walls. God doesn’t answer our prayer, so we stop praying. We deal with pain and suffering by self-protecting. It feels safer. But, is it how Jesus handled pain and suffering? Did he avoid people who hurt him? No. Then maybe we should live by his example.
Life can be messy. Very messy. Faith might seem hard to hold on to, especially if your prayers seem to fall on deaf ears. But, are you allowing self-protection to hurt your faith and friendships?
Guilty of Self-protection?
A friend recently shared something about self-protection from the book 40-Days to Decrease by Alicia Britt Chole. Her text was so good that I had to pull my own copy off the shelf and read more.
I found myself wondering if I’m guilty of self-protection. Sadly, I am. Most of us are. I think the longer we live, the more pain and suffering we’ll experience, but we have a choice: Put up walls or let our light shine by being different.
In this episode, I share some reasons people self-protect, what God’s taught me about not using self-protection to keep others at a distance, and why we should follow Jesus’s example.
The Solution to Self-Protection
Instead of avoiding people and uncomfortable situations, Jesus chose to be fully present. He knew what was about to happen to him. He knew he would be betrayed, mocked, and rejected. He could have put up walls and distanced himself from others. Why didn’t he? Because he knew freedom comes through suffering, not avoidance. He endured much, but he embraced the moment.
Are you hurting your faith and friendship by protecting yourself? You don’t have to live that way. It’s a choice. Freedom doesn’t come by way of not experiencing pain or suffering. It’s the opposite.
Take some time to consider the impact of living a life that constantly tries to keep God and friends at bay. May I invite you to consider removing the walls you’ve so carefully constructed so your faith and friendships can flourish?
*If you are in an abusive situation, seek help. Don’t stay in an abusive relationship or put yourself in harm’s way.
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