September 24, 2009

Denial Of Wrongdoing

Written by Boyd Bailey

Denial Of Wrongdoing… “This is the way of the adulteress: She eats and wipes her mouth and says, ‘I have done nothing wrong’”. Proverbs 30:20

It is hard to help anyone who is in the wrong and who is in denial of their detrimental deeds. Can someone in denial be helped? Possibly. Will someone in denial change anytime soon? Probably not. Denial is deadly to relationships because it detaches them from the reality of what needs to be done. They are unable to rightly relate to those who feel rejected. Why? Sin seduces us into thinking everyone else is the problem, not me.

An adulterer may blame their bad behavior on not being loved by their mother or father as a child. A person trapped in a cynical cycle can only see how they have been victimized by the unfair practices of others. Or, a chronic cheater blames the system for sending their personal finances into what seems to be a bottomless spiral downward. Whatever a person’s struggle, the temptation is to blame others and not take personal responsibility.

So how can we break out of the deadly grip of denial? One way is to accept the consequences of my bad choices and come clean with Christ and others. David found himself in this predicament. After experiencing the fallout from adultery, murder and a rebellious child, he discovered one common denominator, himself. Thus he prayed, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:10-12).

Lastly, how do you help someone who will not take responsibility for his or her wrongdoing? You trust God by applying tough love. Tough love allows people to fail. It does not bail out someone and prolong the consequences of their crass actions. Tough love, sooner than later, speaks firmly the truth, seasoned with grace. It may require removal from their position before pride begins to lose its grip on their heart. Sometimes the shock of humiliation creates humility. Humility is a bridge away from bad behavior.

If not dealt with, tolerated bad behavior becomes even more emboldened and intolerant. So how do you deal with the denial of wrongdoing? First, make sure you are self aware of sin in your life and be accountable to change. And second, be bold to stand up to bullies who are undeniably in self-denial of their sin. Passivity is not an option with pride.

Jesus said, “So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:3-5). How can I stay aware of my wrong doings and confront wrong in others?

Related Readings: 2 Samuel 11:4; 2 Kings 5:25; Jeremiah 17:9; John 4:16-18

Transformational Living
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