Have you ever been talking to someone and all of a sudden that person gets super defensive? I’ve been in situations like that. I’ve seen others get defensive and I’ve been the one who gets defensive about seemingly small things. It doesn’t have to be a big show, it can be as simple and having a calm excuse for what you do.
It’s almost human nature to have a few things like this in your life. I bet if you really thought about it, you might be able to think of some areas in your life where you do this. If you can’t think of any, that doesn’t mean you don’t have them, it just means you’re less conscious about it. Just because it’s something that most everyone does, doesn’t mean it’s a good thing.
When you have those little moments of defensiveness, you are putting up a wall. You are telling people around you that they are not allowed to talk to you about that subject. You are telling them that you are so unwilling to change that behavior that the other person isn’t even allowed to talk about it.
Here are a few things that make people put walls up. Read the list and see if anything strikes a cord. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a something that you flip out about, it could just be something that you always have an excuse for.
- Paying off debt
- Getting a new job every six months or a year
- Disciplining your kids
- Changing churches every couple years
- Moving every couple years
- Going from relationship to relationship
- How you dress
- Your parents
- Being on time
- Finishing projects
- Following your dream
- Having kids
- Attending church regularly
- Your health
- The way/how much you eat
More than likely, none of those got to you. You might have thought of a friend or family member for one or two of those, but not yourself. This is somewhat natural too. But I can almost guaranty you that there is something in your life that you have walled off from others to look at for fear of scrutiny.
The walls we put up and the excuses we make don’t just keep others from pointing out our flaws and helping us to grow, it also blocks God from helping us to change that area as well. Many times the areas that we don’t allow God (or others) to speak into are the areas that are keeping us from doing exactly what it is that God wants us to do with our lives. This may be happening on a large scale and keeping us from a huge part of our destiny, or it could be on a smaller scale keeping us from being as affective as we should be.
So what do you do?
- If any of the areas I listed above struck a cord with you, then that’s what you need to work on. If none of them did, then just keep an eye out for when you suddenly are defensive about something or if people around you bring up a topic, you automatically have an excuse for why it’s okay that you do that. This is the start.
- The next thing you need to do is start to pray. Pray for that area in your life specifically. Go to God and say, “is this something I need to change?” The moment you open up to God about it, is the moment that He will start to work in your life to change you for the better. You might not see it right away, but it will start to happen.
- The third thing you need to do is to be open when someone brings it up. Don’t make those excuses or put up those walls that you did before. Often God uses others to speak into your life and bring change. And now that you know that this is something you need to work on, you need to be receptive to God’s voice, even if His voice sounds a lot like your mother-in-law.
- You need to make an effort to change. Take advice from others and do the hard things. In the end, you will find yourself opened up and changed for the better.
- And finally, do it again. Be aware of other areas in your life that you make excuses for or build walls around. Because you (and I) probably have more than one.