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Christian Maturity - Defensiveness

Discussion in 'Christian Theology Forum' started by Jimmy Engle, May 31, 2010.

  1. Jimmy Engle

    Jimmy Engle New Member

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    As followers of Christ, we are called to spiritually grow. This is nothing new. Many of you know that. However, the question still remains, are YOU growing? Are you making progressive steps towards becoming more and more like Christ? Are you bearing more fruit?
    By fruit...I don't mean activity or things that you do such as ministry. I mean character. The way you act, is it growing in Christ likeness?

    One of the greatest signs of an immature Christian...or a professing Christian who is not growing is that they will be defensive. So anytime we sense defensiveness in ourselves or others, it is an indicator of either pride or immaturity...or both.

    Here is a well written example of why defensiveness is stumbling many people today from growing in maturity...

    You cannot become defensive if you are going to display humility and Christ likeness.
    You cannot become defensive if you are going to be teachable and taught by the Lord.
    You cannot be defensive if pastors, elders, and other believers are to have their proper place in our spiritual growth.

    An honest and valid question...Am I a defensive person?

    If we get defensive when others try to point something out in our lives, then we are still immature to some extent. Defensiveness comes forth out of pride. Not being willing to be corrected, is defensiveness rooted in pride.
    Defensiveness rears it's ugly head when anyone touches a nerve in my soul, possibly exposing that I could be wrong about something.
    Defensiveness is that felling I get, when anyone challenges me on something possibly exposing that I have blind spots that they see that I don't see.
    Defensiveness shows itself in touchiness, when anyone disagrees with me in any way.

    If I am defensive, pride is raising it's head at me.
    If I am defensive, I still think I know better than anyone who disagrees with me.
    If I am defensive, I still am, to some real degree, UNTEACHABLE.
    If I am defensive, I am revealing an inner attitude, that I could not be wrong.

    If another Christian, or one of my pastors, comes to me to share something they feel is a need in my life, do I respond with defensiveness or do I quietly listen, truly hear what they are saying and make sure I understand it, and to thank them for coming, and then examine myself before the Lord to receive what He wants for me?
    IF I DO, THAT IS MATURITY AND CHRIST LIKENESS.
    HOW I RESPOND AT THOSE TIME WILL MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REAL GROWTH AND CHANGE OR NOT.

    If I am defensive, when another brother or sister says something I don't agree with, I am showing I still live like an island, separating myself from the body, asserting my carnal independence from the body and thus from the head as well.

    Defensiveness, is so ingrained in us, it's almost like breathing. We exhibit it, even when we don't know it. If we get challenged, corrected or rebuked it is ugly immaturity in action and pride holding forth it's inglorious presence.

    When I am defensive, I am far from being like the Lord Jesus right then. May God save me from this wicked and on going evil. Jesus was never defensive one time in His life not even once and He is calling me to put it off. Die to self daily and become, defenseless, with all my defense being in Him ALONE.

    - Written by Matt Tomlinson.

    Folks, we need to heed this. I don't care if you have been saved for one month or 50 years...if you are still defensive when it comes to these things, you are acting immature and need to change. You are only hurting yourself and possibly destroying others in the process. The true sign of a mature Christian is the one who humbles themselves and drops all the selfish pride to the ground and counts it worthless compared to the desire and will of God...which is Christ likeness.

    If you read this, it's time to ask yourself an important question. Are you defensive? If you are then you need to start growing in maturity and lose the pride...it's time to grow up. Stop playing games and stop trying to make yourself appear one way when you act another. Don't be a double minded hypocrite full of pride and immaturity.
     
    gregg, forgivenWretch and Christina like this.
  2. Christina

    Christina New Member

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    Bravo James,
    One should however not mistake taking a stand for what right with being defensive, we are endowed certain rights by the creator defending this right and fighting for them is not being defensive its putting on you spiritual armour and taking a stand against what is right and what is wrong
     
  3. Brother Mike

    Brother Mike New Member

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    Good post brother James.

    Christina:
    I think you missed the whole topic of the Post Christina, you might want to re-read it again.

    Jesus Is Lord.
     
  4. Jimmy Engle

    Jimmy Engle New Member

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    If we are going to defend anything...it's Him. What you said was absolutely right Christina. We have to stand and fight for the truth. The true truth. So much immaturity and no humbleness everywhere I turn.

    If a person truly desires to know the truth of scripture...they will not be defensive when someone else tries to correct and teach them. That person that is trying to teach them probably knows a great deal more than they do. Why would they let their selfish pride get in the way of better understanding God's truth?!
    Being humble is the type of person who evaluates both sides of the coin...not just the side they like better!!! And by viewing both sides...they will come to find which is true, but to reject that other side is like Christ trying to show you why your wrong and you turning and saying, no thanks, I think I understand this much better than you.
    It's a joke! Grow up brothers and sisters. You are being left behind in the race if you act this way...
     
  5. Christina

    Christina New Member

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    yes James it puts me in mind of these verse's


    13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

    14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

    15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

    17This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

    18Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

    19Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

    20But ye have not so learned Christ;
     
  6. Brother Mike

    Brother Mike New Member

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    Now why were those scriptures not in mind when you called me a terrorist today?

    Mike.
     
  7. jiggyfly

    jiggyfly New Member

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    Excellent post James, we all make mistakes and we all have trouble seeing everything clearly.

    1Corinthians 13:11-13
    It's like this: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[fn] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now. There are three things that will endure--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love.


    I don't equate scriptural knowledge as spiritual maturity. Knowledge of the scriptures minus HolySpirit's leading, guidance and teaching, makes one like the pharisees.I know because I'm a recovering pharisee.
     
  8. Jimmy Engle

    Jimmy Engle New Member

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    Thanks for your honesty. The greatest stumbling blocks comes from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride one has in life. Being defensive when someone tries to teach you what they know...even if you disagree with them is what keeps one from growing. Always observe two sides of the coin...not just the side that you prefer. Now of course you must use some discernment. If someone comes to you denying the trinity because the word trinity isn't found in the bible...then you should be defensive because you are defending HIM. But if someone comes to you with there theory on whether or not Noah's flood covered just a part of the earth or the whole thing....you should not be so defensive and heed what others have to say.

    Otherwise you could be preventing yourself from learning something new that could possibly help you learn and understand in other areas as well. If we are prideful...we will never see past what we believe to be true.
     
  9. fivesense

    fivesense New Member

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    This is interesting. Mike, you allow for defensiveness when an unscriptural and man-made idea like the trinity is put forth for debate, yet on the other hand say it is unacceptable in other instances. Defensiveness is inevitable whenever God is seeking to loose a stronghold of the enemy that is preventing growth and maturity, whether it is pride or deception.

    The things of heaven are going to be, and continue to be shaken. False ideas and teaching are preventing the sons of God from coming into their own, their allotment with Christ. And whatever is preventing each individual from coming into a realization, a true understanding of their Father, must be torn down and made captive to the obedience of Christ, the Reconciler. I speak this to myself as well.

    We may think that we discern immaturity in another as the cause of conflict, and presume our selves to be correct instead, while all along God is seeking to release us from error to promote us to the next phase of sonship in Him. Baalams donkey was very useful, although I would have to test anything else it said against the Word, and plead with God for the witness of Holy Spirit.

    A teachable spirit, a humble and broken soul, recognizes the lack and insignificance of what is within, having embraced the suffering One's fate and sharing in His death for our inabilities. Knowledge will pass, prophecy will end, and only Christ and His life will abide. Whatever we retain in all these battles with one another, in redeeming what the enemy has stolen, it will have to had its origin in the Author and Finisher of our faith. Whatever else we have manufactured along the way, pet doctrines, dogmatic stances, will be destroyed and left for refuse.

    It is not possible for two people to be right at the same time. Either one is right and the other wrong, or they are both wrong. And even then, lacking perfect understanding as a human being, the person who is right may only be partially correct. It is a futile exercise to be defensive over any topic or belief because of the danger of self-deception.

    We all are grateful recipients of the mind of Christ, and for His sharing of His Spirit with us. But it is a mistake to assume it is our own and needs to be defended. It is meant as a tool, an instrument for conforming us into His image. The Spirit is not our own possession, it belongs to the Father alone. Let us be faithful to Him and let Him instruct us and guide us with it, and not seek to defend it with what limited mental resource we have within ourselves. It is only to our loss should we decide to fight when we are at peace.
    fivesense
     
  10. Brother Mike

    Brother Mike New Member

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    Fivesense:

    Ummm... Good point Fivesense.................... ummm..........

    Defending scripture, and being defensive toward someone with comments like. "You don't want the truth." or targeting a person, instead of their belief, is a line I think we should examine more.

    All false Doctrine come from the enemy or someone who does not have full light on a subject. The attack should not be against the person. Christina's reference to us as being terrorist would be an example of crossing that line, where the Attack becomes personal. As christians, we should see no personal dislike of a person because of the things that they believe.

    Jesus Is Lord.
     
  11. fivesense

    fivesense New Member

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    This also is very good.
    fivesense
     
  12. Jimmy Engle

    Jimmy Engle New Member

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    2 Timothy 4:1-4 - I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

    This is the issue. Defensiveness is part of it and it's a sign of immaturity that is rooted out of pride...but right here is the problem.
    There's a proper place to be defensive and it should result in reproving and rebuking of another...

    Jesus Himself rebuked.

    So are you here to have your ears tickled by taking sides with those who agree with you? Or are you here to study and grow and learn even if that means that all your wrong beliefs are exposed?

    If we are going to contribute to CB and be helpful to others...we need to grow up and stop arguing over every little thing. Some of the members here are acting like the people Paul wrote to who were debating about circumcision and uncircumcised. It's pointless and a waste of time.
    I'm not mentioning names here for one reason...I want everyone to read this as if I were talking to you. Stop focusing upon who said what and examine yourself to see if you are honestly a part of the problem or the solution.

    Ask yourself this question...what is your true motive here at CB? Is it really to learn scripture with other brothers and sisters or is it to just debate and try to esteem yourself more knowledgeable or important than others? I don't care who said what or who you feel is right or wrong. If you are here to do anything other than learn and have fellowship then you need to leave because you are ruining it for everyone else who are here for the right reasons.

    There is no love on this forum because too many members are selfish and immature and insensitive and are SELFISH...THEY CARE MORE ABOUT APPEARING GOOD IN THE EYES OF OTHERS THAN THEY DO OTHERS. SO STOP IT! JUST STOP!
     
    forgivenWretch likes this.
  13. forgivenWretch

    forgivenWretch New Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. Nyoka

    Nyoka New Member

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    Good post. Jesus said: Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. He didn't say to love only those that agreed with you but to love all the brethren - no conditions attached. Jesus also thought it was important enough to repeat this command twice more: Joh 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you and Joh 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another. If Jesus thought this was important enough to repeat it then it should be important for all of us who profess to follow Him. if someone professes Jesus as their Lord and Savior and is doing their best to follow Him then that person is our brethren whether we totally agree with them or not. Lets get back to what Jesus commanded us to do and love our brethren so that the unsaved will see His love expressed in us and through us and be saved.
     
  15. Martin W.

    Martin W. Active Member

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    I do not ever think I will be Christ like. Besides , The position has already been filled.

    I find the new Testament teachers were very decisive. I do not see them as mushy lovey dovey nicey softies. Jesus either.

    I am very defensive if someone points out flaws in my life. You see , I already know what my faults are. When people are pointing out flaws in your life what they are really doing is saying "you are not as good a christian as I am" . I do not give them that pleasure.

    My faults and my flaws are constantly being worked on by me, my forgiver and Holy Spirit. It has nothing to do with the person in the next pew. I am not them and they are not me. Thank goodness :)
     
  16. 01CobraVortech

    01CobraVortech New Member

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    I too will never be able to meet the standards Jesus set. I try my best sometimes, but I just have too many personality flaws. And God made a heck of a lot of annoying people who work my nerves. :lol: Maybe I'll be much better in my resurrected body.
     
  17. Martin W.

    Martin W. Active Member

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    Many Christians always want to focus of what everybody else is doing.

    Our sinful nature loves examining others.

    Our sinful nature hates examining itself.

    Who are you examining today ?

    Think deep my friends , think deep.
     
  18. fivesense

    fivesense New Member

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    There is the common thread that ties us all, the quest for Truth. It is what motivates all who come to this site. We have a limited understanding of Who He is, therefore the Spirit prods us continually in that direction. Paul stopped to pray this prayer in his letter to us, showing how heavily it weighed on his heart;

    Eph 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of the glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the recognition of him,
    Eph 1:18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, for your knowing what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
    Eph 1:19 and what the exceeding greatness of His power to us who are believing, according to the working of the power of His might,

    It is all about recognizing God and coming into a realization of Who He is to us. It is not about who is right or wrong, it is about knowing Him as God, and His Beloved Son. Our position before Him and how He views us is what should determine our behaviour. At times we loose sight of this, thinking that we are who we are because of what we have performed or learned. That may be true to an extent, but it is the Lord Who is building the house, and we are only the workers. Should a contractor's employee say to me,"I built your house", I would dismiss his claim as arrogant and thoughtless, knowing it was the contractor who brought it all together. The worker was expendable, which he apparently did not consider.

    Humility is not a fruit of the Spirit. It comes through subjection and obedience. It is learned. Few are the ones whom God has chosen that are learning their lessons, failing to adjust their thinking to how insignificant their own advancement truly is. It's all about Him, and becoming like Him, through discipline and correction. Avoiding these tools of God in order to remain "right" is fatal to spiritual growth. The Body is the best venue for this operation, so to attack any part of it is foolishness and self-destructive.

    The more one recognizes and realized God, the more one is inclined to refuse to defend him or herself. It is futile. The Lord know who belong to Him, and He is able to cause them to stand or fall. It has always been this way.
    fivesense


     
  19. Jimmy Engle

    Jimmy Engle New Member

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    Based on what you have said here...you are in agreement with me. That however is only half the battle. I didn't start this thread just so everyone can read it and agree that it's correct and give me amens.
    I wrote it so that people would hopefully not just agree but take action.
    It's very easy to make yourself look good. No one on this forum knows me...so I am fully aware that I can make myself look any way I want. I can be a jerk...selfish...intelligent and so on. However...its the mature ones who will realize that trying to make yourself look a certain way for the approval of man is worthless and a waste of time.
    For me personally I act like I would in real life and I speak from the heart...

    So although I appreciate what you have said...it means nothing unless you can act upon that.

    It's just like if I say I believe in Jesus...I can say that all I want. But until it can be seen through my actions that I really love Him...my words are empty.
    This thread is a call to maturity. I posted it hoping that we would all be exposed and be able to see areas where we are being prideful and selfish and immature....but not only see them, act upon them and strive to grow out of it.

    Again...I'm not here to name names. I wrote this in response to the recent problems going on here...
    I could very easily call these people out and single them out and expose them for who they really are...but I would much rather have everyone read this as if they are the ones who are selfish, immature, prideful, unloving...etc.
     
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