10.1. Study Material

Précis:    To point to a sure method of dealing with problems, stresses and insecurities;  encourage boldness to address issues and take charge of life.

Text: Proverbs 28:13

Introduction:

Accepting responsibility for personal actions and accountability for one’s own life, is not a popular message. Most people would rather go to a professional and take medication for the problem. Many prefer to respond to an altar call and have God do it for them. He often does! Others would rather attend a deliverance meeting and be “set-free”. Some are. Genuine and lasting change however, comes about when by God’s help the individual examines him/her self, acknowledges weakness, confesses failures, repents from destructive behavior and changes his/her life-style. By God’s help we must do this. Change is brought about from within. It is God who worketh IN YOU both to will and to do His good pleasure. (Phil. 2:13)

The Scriptures declare that there is only one cure for self-imposed problems; confession and cessation. A person who sits on a cactus experiences a great deal of discomfort. The pin-holes in his “gluteus maximus” will never disappear as long as he sits there. Professional counseling will accomplish nothing. Prayer and anointing oil will not avail. Medication may desensitize the “thinker” but will not affect the “sitter”. There is only one cure. Get off the cactus! The discomfort will leave as soon as the “sit-ee” identifies the source of the discomfort and abandons his perch. All cause and affect relationships are not as easily identified but the dynamics are much the same. 

   He that covereth (He who uses ego-defense mechanisms)

his sins (his missing the mark)

   shall not prosper (shall suffer the pain of pin-holes caused by the cactus):

but whoso confesseth (acknowledges that cactus sitting causes the problem)

   and forsaketh them (gets off the cactus – like now)

   shall have mercy (paid in full – release from the problem.). – Prov 28:13

Ego Defense Mechanisms: Type of reaction designed to maintain the individual’s feelings of adequacy and worth rather than to cope directly with the stress situation; usually unconscious and reality distorting. – James C. Coleman

Ego defense mechanisms are elaborate cover-ups which are distorting and self-deceiving. In these cases self-improvement is impossible. In this way a person can persist in unacceptable behavior and still feel satisfied about it.

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Lesson:                When Ego-defense Mechanisms Are Obsolete

22.1 A Natural Resistance To Self Examination

1.  Embarrassment; Points out the failure

2.  Respect for others; Respect of others

3.  Takes much effort; “Wait, it will go away” mentality

4.  Cherish the cause; Don’t know what to do without it

22.2 The Frequent Calls For Self Examination – 1 Cor. 11:23-34

1. The Lord’s Table calls for self examination – Let a man examine himself

2. For this cause many are weak (as-then-eh’-o) Asthenic Reactions

3. And many sick (ar’-hroce-tos) Physically, biologically ill

4. And many sleep (koy’-may-sis) Sleep, die prematurely

22.3  Results Of Obedience

1.  Must judge self from within (kree’-no), call in question, determine

2.  We are chastened by the Lord (pahee-dyoo’-o) Pediatrics; Rear a child

3.  To be free from the judgment of the world  (Ko-smoo  kat-ak-ree’-no);

4.  Free to enjoy Kingdom of God blessings   

22.4  The Importance Of Self Examination – 2 Tim. 2:19-26

1.  A call for all Christians  v9 – Them that are His  v21

2.  Depart from iniquity  v20-21 – Purge yourself  v21

3.  Purpose is the Master’s use – Honorable and common use  v20-21

  1. Promoted to spiritual service – v22-26

“Say, tell me some-thing about miracles, angels, dreams, and the mighty power of God which can knock you off your feet. Teach me about the second coming of Jesus, Heaven and our eternal reward. Talk to me about deep spiritual truths, like the gifts of the Spirit, visions, words of knowledge and spiritual warfare, but don’t talk to me about the need for improvement and this self examination stuff. I’m O.K. I am a free agent endowed by God with liberty to do what I want.”  

          – Mr.Mrs. A. CommonSaint

Dealing with the issues is painful. Because the process requires effort, honesty and account-ability, it is carefully avoided. As a result, many people never come to grips with themselves or have victory over their problems.