When I was in the world I can safely say that I looked for ways to believe that the word of God was not true, that it was partly true and partly false. I was looking for an easy way to salvation without the work necessary of a Christian, a true follower of Christ. Someone who is truly a man of the way any true follower of Christ knows what I mean by the necessary work.
When I started to begin to understand, when I started to believe that Jesus was the only way. It became harder and harder to ignore the truth and more convicting when I purposely did not follow the truth of the word.
Denial is not just a river in Egypt, it is walking around nearsighted and or fully blind at times to crippling realities in our lives.
I was in denial many times in my life, so I know that when we are in denial, in the grips of that horrid word and its crippling effect on our lives, we can not see what is hurting us or even how we are hurting others, keeping us from living life to the fullest, in a word, success in Christ or achieving things for ourselves like having great relationships etc.
When In denial I believe we are under a veil from the enemy, the devil. He is blinding us to a reality in our life that we are not willing to come to terms with. Denial is experienced by everyone, believers and non-believers. If you are a believer and in denial about some reality in your life, more than likely, you don’t know that you are even in denial.
Please understand, I am not saying if you're in denial you're not saved or not a Christian. I’m saying that when in denial the devil has a veil over some reality in our life that we are not taking responsibility for, we don’t see it as a cause for the hurt in ourselves or the hurt we inflict on others.
Sadly most of us justify that particular reality in our life and the denial grows deeper and deeper.
Over the years I've come up with several ways to identify and remove the veils the devil tries to put over realities in my life. I call them my Yellow Flags. They have worked for me in the past, and I am confident they will work for you!
A veil for me is not just a piece of fine material worn by women to protect or conceal their face, it is a thing that serves to cover, conceal, or disguise.
As practicing Christians nothing will or should not remain hidden whether we know of its concealment or not. We are like a lamp, and we are told that a lamp is not to be hidden under a bushel or under a bed but it should be placed on a lamp stand for the whole room to see and to be illuminated by.
When we are in denial, we don't know that we are in it. We are blind to the evidence that others see.
I must tell you before I start that I am not writing my Yellow Flags in any order of severity; any one of these examples are severe enough in and of themselves to warrant action and or eradication with extreme prejudice. If any of my examples are left alone, meaning no action is taken to remedy, they will remove us, even if only for a short time, from experiencing the full love that God has for us and wants to bestow on us.
My first Yellow Flag is if I get mad that a person pointed out something in my life's reality that is different from what I thought and I might also begin to defend my position in annoyance. Then that is a Yellow Flag for me.
Another Yellow Flag is if I am i'm in denial about a behavior or belief or action as a christian and two different Christians that I know, especially if they are unassociated to each other, point out the same thing I am doing or believing or living out in my life, then what they say has to have validity and needs to be taken seriously. I need to address it and begin to unpack it, even if I am not as of yet fully aware of it myself.
Yet another Yellow Flag is if I am told by the Holy Spirit through a queasy feeling for instance in my gut or in my mind that this is not right or something just doesn't feel right. I have to take it as a sign from the Holy Spirit and investigate, then address it.
Another common Yellow Flag for me is if I feel “Overly Anything” about a situation. An example of “Overly Anything,” would be if I was acting overly critical about a situation that is not bad or wrong or that I even disagree with, but I am overly critical of. I would have to put it before God. Meaning I would identify the feeling or emotion by naming it and ask if this is an emotion or feeling that God would create in me. If the answer is No, then it is consequently from the devil who is our enemy and so then must be addressed and eradicated with extreme prejudice.
Or If you hurt someone by the words or actions you said or did and you respond by ignoring and or playing off their feelings or even defending yourself by saying, “that is not what I meant to say, you misunderstood me,” or “I don’t remember saying that.” Those thoughts and words are Yellow flags. What you are doing in that instance is neglecting to see that even though you did not mean it and that it was not your intent, which might all be true, the reality is that it was perceived that way by the person that got hurt from what you said, and this has validity. And, if someone else points out that you acted or said the same thing in a similar situation before, it becomes doubly valid and is confirmation from the Holy Spirit that you are acting in denial and you need to address the obstacle and change yourself. You do not ignore it for instance by twisting the conversation around to play on the person's weakness that you wronged. If you catch yourself saying, for example, “well that person is just sensitive or something along those lines.” It might very well be true that they are sensitive but it does not take away from the reality of what they perceived. What you are trying to do in that example, is to get them to see that they are at fault, “it's not my fault, you're too sensitive,” or, “they interpreted what I said wrongly.” You don’t even have to say anything out loud, if you are just thinking these thoughts at home, for instance, after an incident, you are in denial and justifying your position. And, remember, if you apologize and even ask for forgiveness and then do the same thing again to someone else or even the same person, “YOU'RE STILL IN DENIAL." This is a Huge Yellow Flag.
In one of my favorite movies when I was a youngster, Sr Robin says in a loud voice for everyone to hear, “Oh no, I've done it again.” King Arthur replied indignantly, ”OH SHUT UP . . . and go and change your armor.”
When we are in denial it is as if we are walking around with poop in our pants. We need to stop pooping in our pants and face the reality of our situation, the reality of the denial in our lives that everyone is pointing out and yet we are ignoring out of pride or arrogance or jealousy, whatever it may be and saying nobody understands me, everybody is against me.
If we ignore and stay in denial when told the truth, It becomes a smelly mess and we have to take extra time, that we do not have, out of our busy lives to clean it up. Unless, perhaps you like walking around that way and if that is the case you have a major question to answer before you, that question being whether or not you really are a Christian?
Practicing Christians do not walk around that way without listening to other Christians and doing something about it.
"Hey man you need to change your pants!"
"Thanks bro, I’m on my way home right now to CHANGE."
We just need to listen and change because It could have all been avoided if we just planned ahead and gone to the bathroom before we left on the trip or before we got to the important meeting we could not miss. It could have all been avoided if we listened to our bodies before we got in the car and now we are stuck in heavy traffic. It could have all been avoided if we kept to our correct diet and not gorged ourselves the night before with pizza and pop or with the nachos supreme from Taco smell.
Repeated pooping in the trousers is another major Yellow Flag.
If our hearts are truly open, we will be truly open to correction and in turn our true openness WILL grow us in our walk with the Lord. Our realities of life will become realities in our life others can trust and love.