Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary.
Tree of Life 09/27/98
Be accomplishing your own preservation with respect toward Christ and reverence toward doctrine.
Tree of Life for 09-27-98
Under the subject of working out your own spiritual deliverance when faced with problems, the believer is confronted with many distractions. These distractions are designed by the kingdom of darkness to lead the believer away from his devotion to the plan of God. These distractions include everything from fear and emotional fragmentation to rejection. The subject of rejection can be especially destructive to the believer's soul. If the believer is unprepared doctrinally he will not be able to handle the pressure which comes from being rejected. Yet, all of us will at some time or another encounter rejection of some sort. In fact, the Lord Jesus Christ was rejected more than anyone, MAR 8:31! The chief corner stone of the church had to endure more rejection than we can even imagine, MAR 12:10.
Rejection, by way of definition is being forsaken, excluded, repudiated, discarded, set aside, denied or eliminated. It can also mean negative volition and therefore refusal to acknowledge or believe, accept, hear or consider. The problem of rejection can damage the spiritual life of the believer either temporarily or permanently. Rejection can be destructive to both the rejectee and the rejector. Rejection can cause the great sin of insecurity or worse, bitterness which is very damaging to the spiritual life. Our Lord Jesus Christ was given the power to handle and overcome the problem of rejection and we too are offered the divine power to overcome rejection or any problems which may face us. There is a divine solution to every set of circumstances in life waiting to be appropriated.
There are two types of rejection:
1) Passive rejection from others.
2) Active rejection in which you are the one doing the rejecting.
In either case, what is in view as the panacea is the believer's personal love for God and occupation with Christ. Rejection can snowball into an enormous obstacle in that many times the problem is a matter of the individual's perception of reality. And some believer's, let's face it, have quite a demented perception of reality! Very few in fact have the proper concept of reality and very few are mature personally never mind spiritually. Most believers harbor some type of arrogance, often times blind arrogance, causing them to defend their own perception of self. Arrogant believers, rather than operate in the problem solving devices offer up excuses and enter into self-justification concerning their erroneous view of self. In other words, people often handle the problem of rejection by way of the defense mechanisms and defense mechanisms are the human solution or rather, a cop-out. Remember, if the Lord has allowed it, you are able to handle it, 1CO 10:13. It is God who allows us to be wounded and it is God who heals us, DEU 32:39. HOS 6:1 tells us that God often needs to tear us down in order to heal us and build us up spiritually. He inflicts pain and also gives relief, JOH 5:18. Whether divine punishment is in view which causes hurt, or testing is in view which challenges the believer, there is a divinely appointed path. Even the pain we ourselves create through the law of volitional responsibility can be turned to blessing if we apply divine viewpoint and divine solutions to the problems.
There is never a dead end when it comes to God's grace and forgiveness. As long as you are alive it is never too late to repent. In face of rejection, the believer who becomes arrogant rejects either the living word (occupation with Jesus Christ) or the written word (Bible doctrine). The only innocent parties when it comes to rejection is the Lord Jesus Christ who received passive rejection during His incarnation and the word of God which receives active rejection from negative believers. Even in a case such as Joseph and his brothers who rejected him and sold him into slavery... Joseph is not to be pitied as the "innocent party", for God was working in him a fantastic plan!
So, when the problem of rejection presents itself the believer is faced with the challenge of either operating in divine viewpoint and applying the problem solving devices or reacting and entering into some type of defense mechanism. There are actually six common defense mechanisms which the rejected believer gravitates toward in arrogance.
1) Repression - a mental mechanism in which a person transfers to his subconscious, things which constitute a threat to the arrogant image of self.
In this mechanism the ego cannot stand certain allegations and so repression conveniently forgets the reasons why the believer has been rejected or the reason why there is suffering involved which seems to have no explanation. In repression, anything that is incompatible with one's self-righteous arrogance such as flaws, inferiorities and sins is thereafter repressed and assigned to the garbage in the subconscious. 2) Projection - a defense mechanism in which the believer projects his own flaws on the rejector.
Many cannot deal with the fact that they may have been wrong and so enter into the blame game... YOU made my life miserable, YOU caused this to happen, and so on. Projection means the believer develops a tremendous amount of garbage in the subconscious leading to scar tissue of the soul. Projection often leads to transference arrogance hence a life of fear and fragmentation. The arrogant person falls apart under pressure and assumes his sins are the sins of others.
Defense mechanisms are designed to bury any reaction the believer might have, any lack of esteem, any explanation for impulsive behavior or failures on your part.
3) Denial is a mental or emotional mechanism in which a person fails to acknowledge some aspect of external reality which would be apparent to another. They often live in the unreality that they have been accepted and so ignore the problem.
4) Withdrawal is the defense mechanism in which a believer sustains a temporary alteration in the integrated functions of his or her soul therefore the split off of the personality eventuates.
In withdrawal, the believer begins to withdraw from the normal functions of life and sublimate hence withdrawing from the plan of God and never going forward to solve their problems. Withdrawal often manifests itself in self-justification or the silent treatment.
In the last days Satan will put as much pressure as he can on those who are teaching truth so that they might also withdraw from the faith, 1TI 4:1; 6:20-21. In the apostle Paul's day they withdrew from him because the pressure to stay with doctrine was too much, that is, they felt it was too much. But 2Pe 3 tells us that before the moment needed the word (solution) is given.
5) Intellectualization is used to describe a person who engages in excessive abstract thinking to avoid experiencing disturbing feelings. This mechanism can be termed operation over-think, which only serves to complicate the problem more. 1CO 14:30informs us that God is not the author of confusion.
6) Autistic fantasy which is a mechanism in which the person substitutes excessive daydreaming for the pursuit of human relationships rather than using the problem solving devices.
Whatever the problem facing the believer, defense mechanisms are never the solution. The proper solution is always the divine solution and it starts with the ten problem solving devices. The proper solution is always based on divine viewpoint and this requires respect for God. Respect for God is based on consideration. And consideration is the careful thought and mediation in evaluating the circumstances of life according to divine viewpoint. The issue is always what does divine viewpoint say in regard to the circumstances in life. It is divine viewpoint which should be considered and pondered not defense mechanisms and reaction. Your spiritual life is the only solution to the problem of rejection. To be rejected by someone you admire, respect, or love opens the tendency for the believer to react. But reaction only leads to blaming others, becoming bitter, vindictive implacability, revenge, cruelty, self pity, and so leaves the believer divorced from reality thereby destroying the spiritual life. Reaction only serves to complicate matters and blinds the believer to the divine solutions.
Reaction leads to a fragmented spiritual life. Reaction to rejection can also produce a subtle form of arrogance. Once a person is deeply hurt they begin to react in a very strange way. Then new flaws are developed in the soul. Reaction therefore is a great test for the believer's impersonal love. We should always bear in mind that "the Lord receives me...", PSA 27:10, it is therefore inconsequential what people think of me. Step back and allow rejection to offer the opportunity for self examination and the reevaluation of one's perspective. When handled properly rejection affords the believer the opportunity to utilize the problem solving devices, especially rebound and the filling of the Spirit, the faith-rest drill, grace orientation, personal love for God and impersonal love for others, sharing the perfect happiness of God, living in one's personal sense of destiny while being occupied with Christ. Use whatever problem solving device it takes to remind you that none of us are perfect, the only perfection resides in God and the humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ, never in mere man! Man needs God and His plan, and His power, and His solutions. Apart from divine power and divine solutions there is no spiritual life.
JER 17:5-7 "...cursed is the man who puts his trust in mankind.""...blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord."