What Are You Defending? – Proverbs 23:12
We can all tell when someone is being defensive. Their body language displays it and their attitude shines through loud and clear. They, on the other hand, rarely see it. Rather they dig in their heels and continue to proclaim the rightness of their protests against what they feel is an unjustified assault from you or whomever.
Yep, yep, yep, you know just what I mean don’t you? You recognize defensive behavior when you see it, right? Well, do you as clearly recognize it when it is YOU? Maybe that’s harder because defensiveness often goes hand in hand with denial. I unfortunately know because when I let down my defenses and am completely honest I’ve caught myself participating in both.
Proverbs 23:12 says; “Don’t refuse to accept criticism; get all the help you can” (Proverbs 23:12 TLB). In order to obey that admonition you have to stop defending yourself and in order to do that you have to figure out what you are really defending after all. Digging deep enough usually yields a stinky piece of flesh.
“I’m right!” “I will maintain control.” “Don’t nose around in my life.” “Who do you think you are?” “Stop judging me!” Any of that sound familiar? I’ve found myself saying those things even when it’s under my breath rather than out loud. Ugh! Contrast that with God’s way. “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” (Romans 13:14).
So go ahead and put on the Lord Jesus Christ every morning. It squeezes the flesh out of the way first thing. After that, anything left might be worth defending.