Defense Mechanisms and How to Deal with Pessimism.


Week ending in: 030721

Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Weekly Review
030621
Defense Mechanisms and How to Deal with Pessimism.

In relationship to our doctrine of the Big Genuflex, we have been noting how to receive the blessings and rewards that a believer can receive to glorify the Lord by using their privileges of understanding what an escrow account is and what it does for all of us.

EPH 1:3-4, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.

Remember the verb has blessed us which is the aorist active participle of eulogeo correctly translated has blessed us or has graced us out or has provided for us. (All in the past). And, there are two areas that take place here that we all need to note. The first one is stress in the soul or sin nature control of the soul which is a major source of garbage in the soul. Garbage in the soul or garbage in the subconscious develops before salvation or after salvation because of the decisions that people make without thinking.

In 2PE 2:20-22, For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”

So, again, how does garbage accumulate in the soul, in the subconscious and in the conscious mind? Garbage in the subconscious is described by psychologists under the term “defense mechanisms.” Defense mechanisms are designed to hide or to relieve the conflicts and stresses in the soul that cause anxiety, hysteria, fear, worry, or other categories of the emotional and arrogant complex of sins, the worst being guilt.

Defense mechanisms are designed to bury any reaction you might have, any lack of esteem, any explanation for impulsive behavior or failure on your part. And there are many defense mechanisms that people use and I am going to continue with them this evening.

So far, we’ve had 1) Acting-out which is a defense mechanism in which a person acts without regard for negative consequences.

2) Autistic fantasy = A defense mechanism in which a person substitutes excessive day dreaming for the pursuit of social relationships.
3) Denial = A defense mechanism in which a person fails to acknowledge some aspect of external reality that is obvious and apparent to others.
4) Dissociation or withdrawal is the fourth one which is a mechanism which is employed when a person doesn’t want to deal with a situation so they run away and withdraw from those in the situation.

Now, one of the many benefits of living the spiritual life that God has provided just for you is to rid your soul of the garbage it has stored up throughout the years. In fact, Isaiah tells us that God did just that in ISA 44:22, “I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud, And your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”

ISA 43:25, “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.”

ISA 1:2-7, “Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth; For the Lord speaks, Sons I have reared and brought up, But they have revolted against Me. An ox knows its owner, And a donkey its master’s manger, But Israel does not know, My people do not understand. Alas, sinful nation, People weighed down with iniquity, Offspring of evildoers, Sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned the Lord, They have despised the Holy One of Israel, They have turned away from Him. Where will you be stricken again, As you continue in your rebellion? The whole head is sick, And the whole heart is faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head There is nothing sound in it, Only bruises, welts, and raw wounds, Not pressed out or bandaged, Nor softened with oil. Your land is desolate, Your cities are burned with fire, Your fields‑‑ strangers are devouring them in your presence; It is desolation, as overthrown by strangers.”

Therefore, there is a solution given in ISA 1:13-18, “Bring your worthless offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies‑‑ I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly. I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts, They have become a burden to Me. I am weary of bearing them. So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you, Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless; Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.”

All of us have stored or accumulated garbage in our soul, especially in the subconscious. The subconscious is that part of our soul where we are not wholly or fully conscious of all the things that are there. And that means that many people have garbage in their soul and don’t even know it. This is why there are many changes which take place when we’re living the spiritual life that God has provided without us even knowing about it. In fact, there are certain transformations which take place that we are not fully aware of. You might see the manifestation after years of doctrine and living the spiritual life that God has provided but you don’t really know that changes are taken place in the soul when they are. And there is a change that takes place in a believer’s life that causes the believer to become strengthened mentally.

ROM 12:2, And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed [present-passive -imperative] by the renewing of your mind,

The present tense speaks of your Positive volition toward doctrine. The passive voice of the verb “conformed” means that as you have your mind renewed or renovated, changes are taken place without you even knowing about it. This is why the imperative mood is given which makes this a command.

The same word is used in 2CO 3:18, But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed [pres-pass-ind] into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

Notice, we are NOT transforming ourselves nor are we to change ourselves, we are being transformed or changed.
Why?
Look at 2CO 10:3, For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,

Our warfare in the spiritual life is neither physical nor fleshly; it is spiritual and therefore in the mentality of our soul! And the Lord has provided information whereby we can use our thinking of divine viewpoint as a basis of advancing in the spiritual life and handling any of the outside pressures that would come our way.

2CO 10:4, For the weapons of our warfare [spiritual] are not of the flesh [human attributes], but divinely powerful or attributes of power, for the destruction of fortresses.

Now, when it says that ”the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh,” it refers to the fact that our weapons are not based upon a system of human viewpoint like defense mechanisms. In fact, the word fortresses is the Greek noun ochuromaton which is a hapax legomena and it means arguments and reasonings one uses to defend themselves, that’s why it’s translated fortresses and therefore a perfect description of defense mechanisms.

Defense mechanisms can resist all attacks of human viewpoint, human ability, human power; but God has provided in grace divine equipment and weapons to demolish these defense mechanisms in the soul. What are these weapons that allow us to launch an attack against defense mechanisms in the soul? It is His thoughts.

The greatest weapon we have in both spiritual warfare and life is what we think. No matter how you slice it, the factor that motivates, empowers and strengthens a believer is his thought pattern. If the believer is thinking human viewpoint, he is open to satanic infiltration. Furthermore, he is useless, miserable, and indistinguishable from the unbeliever.

On the other hand, the believer with doctrine in the right lobe has divine viewpoint on the launching pad ready for application in order to assault any defense system in this intensified stage of the angelic conflict.

5) The next defense mechanism that people use is idealization, which is a defense mechanism in which a person attributes exaggerated positive qualities to self or to others.

When others are idealized, we call that role model arrogance. When self is idealized, we call that self-righteous arrogance or making a role model out of self. This mechanism of idealization usually makes hypocrites of people.

1CO 10:12, Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

1CO 8:2, If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know;

GAL 6:2-5, Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have   reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one shall bear his own load.

ROM 12:3, For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

PSD #3, The faith-rest drill, PSD #5, Doctrinal orientation, PSD #7, Personal love for God the Father, PSD #10, Occupation with Christ as the priority solution to life, would handle this problem.

6) Intellectualization is a defense mechanism in which a person engages in excessive abstract thinking to avoid reality or experiencing some very disturbing feelings about self. This mechanism only serves to complicate their problems. To the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul warns of this.

1CO 3:18-21, Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become foolish that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness” and again, “The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are useless.” So then let no one boast in men.

PSD #4, Grace orientation, PSD #9, +H or sharing the happiness of God.

7) Isolation is a defense mechanism in which a person is unable to experience what is really happening around them or in their life. They feel isolated from their problems because they cannot deal with their problems so they must dump part of it into the garbage can of the subconscious to isolate it from the rest of their soul. Isaiah talked about this in ISA 44:20, when he said He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside. And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?” They don’t even realize that they have problems!

PSD #3, The faith-rest drill and PSD #7, Personal love for God the Father, would handle this problem.

8) Projection is a defense mechanism by which a person takes their own flaws, sins and failures and assigns or projects them to others. Many times they are not even consciously aware of doing so because their arrogance has blinded them! In assigning their flaws to someone else they rid themselves of their own failures and they elevate themselves. This creates a problem in the soul which keeps out metabolized doctrine on the one hand and destroys metabolized doctrine on the other hand.

We saw Joseph’s brothers doing this in GEN 50:15, when Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph should bear a grudge against us and pay us back in full for all the wrong which we did to him!”

PSD #4, Grace orientation, PSD #8, Impersonal love for all mankind, would solve this problem.

This is also known as “transference arrogance” where one individual accuses another for doing the same thing like the elder brother in the parable of the Prodigal Son” did by accuses his brother of devouring wealth on harlots; LUK 15:25-30, Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things might be. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound. But he became angry, and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began entreating him. But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you, and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a kid, that I might be merry with my friends; but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with harlots, you killed the fattened calf for him.

9) Rationalization is our ninth defense mechanism which devises reassuring or self-serving but erroneous explanations for one’s behavior. This is rationalizing an action which the believer knows is not biblical but they feel they have the right to be as they are or decide as they do. In this defense mechanism the person becomes offended easily because they do not love the Word of God as PSA 119:165 says, Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Notice all the passages in the Psalms on the subject of loving God.

Or PSA 33:5, “He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.”

PSA 37:28, “For the Lord loves justice, And does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever; But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.”

PSA 97:10, “Hate evil, you who love the Lord, Who preserves the souls of His godly ones; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked.”

PSA 116:1, “I love the Lord, because He hears My voice and my supplications.”

PSA 119:47, “And I shall delight in Thy commandments, Which I love.”

PSA 119:48, “And I shall lift up my hands to Thy commandments, Which I love; And I will meditate on Thy statutes.”

PSA 119:97, “O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day.”

10) Repression is our tenth Defense Mechanism in which the believer is unable to remember or to be aware of disturbing lusts, wishes, or feelings, or thoughts, or experiences related to sin.

They choose to forget the things they have done.

David did this in Psa 32:1-5.

PSA 32:1, (A Psalm of David. A Maskil.) “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered!”

PSA 32:2, “How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit!

PSA 32:3-5, “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long. For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin to Thee, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; And Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin. Selah.”

Repression is the unconscious exclusion of painful impulses, desires or fears from the conscious mind. This happened to Abraham in GEN 15 where the Lord had to speak to him in a dream to deliver him from repressed fears.

The divine solution: PSD #3, The faith-rest drill,

PSD #4, Grace orientation, PSD #5, Doctrinal orientation, would solve this problem.

11) Suppression which is a defense mechanism in which the believer intentionally avoids thinking about disturbing thoughts, problems, experiences, or feelings. A lot of unbelievers do this when it comes to thinking about the fact that God exists.

ROM 1:18, For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

PSD #7, Personal love for God the Father and PSD #10, Occupation with Christ as the priority solution to life would solve this problem.

12) Altruism is when a person engages in gratifying service to others because they want to be liked and so try to earn approval.

JOH 12:42-43, Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.

Our Lord went the opposite way.

JOH 2:23-25, Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, beholding His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning man for He Himself knew what was in man.

PSD #6, A personal sense of destiny, PSD #7, Personal love for God the Father, PSD #9, +H or sharing the happiness of God, PSD #10, Occupation with Christ as the priority solution to life would solve this problem.

This type of person ends up on a works program and cares too much about what others think.

13) Controlling is when a person attempts to excessively manage or regulate events, objects, or people in their environment. This is the domineering mother or the bully. An example of this is found in LUK 10:38-42 where Martha tries to control Mary.

LUK 10:38-42, Now as they were traveling along, He entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. And she had a sister called Mary, who moreover was listening to the Lord’s word, seated at His feet. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him, and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her. “

PSD #3, The faith-rest drill, PSD #6, A personal sense of destiny,

PSD #7, Personal love for God the Father, would solve this problem.

14) Devaluation is a Defense Mechanism where the person attributes exaggerated negative qualities to self and others. This type of person is always putting self and or others down…otherwise known as a pessimist. A pessimist looks at things in their lives as being half-empty rather than half-full. No matter what life brings, every negative thing has positive aspects.

For example, failure is not falling down, you fail when you don’t get back up. Failure can be the first step to success. Falling down does not signify failure but staying there does.

An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while a pessimist sees only the red stoplight.

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

Negative thinking produces negative thoughts that express negative words.

Positive thinking will produce positive thoughts which is usually positive words of edification that we all need to hear every now and then.

There are many believers who are involved with pessimism, which is the tendency to take the most unfavorable view of situations, or to expect the worst outcome in any circumstances. These are not the kind of people you want in your presence; you want those who are positive and say positive things rather than focus in on the negative.

Optimists generally approach life with a positive outlook, while pessimists tend to expect the worst. This is how Job’s friends looked at Job.

Optimists go into new situations with high expectations, while pessimists keep low expectations to prepare for negative outcomes.

2CO 3:4-5, And such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as   coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”

We have no time to argue with a pessimist. Because he who sees nothing beautiful in the work of God’s fingers, and who can interpose a difficulty in every opportunity, is no fit company for one who would achieve. I hope, in the spirit of the optimist to be whom every difficulty is an opportunity, and not as the pessimist, to whom every opportunity presents some difficulty. This is a time when we need faith, faith of a very definite and positive nature, the faith that will lead us to optimism and contribute to the believer becoming a part of the pivot.

I believe that pessimism can grow out of a lack of faith, and that if we have the right type of faith, we will be optimistic about the future.

When you wake up every day, you have two choices. You can either be positive or negative; an optimist or a pessimist – It’s all a matter of perspective. Fear and pessimism paralyze men with skepticism and futility. One must have a sense of humor to be an optimist in times like these. I am glad I am an optimist. The pessimist is half‑licked before he starts. The optimist has won half the battle, the most important half that applies to himself, when he begins his approach to a subject with the proper mental attitude. Optimistic thoughts will make your day bright and productive, while pessimistic thinking will make it dull and wasteful.

Face each day cheerfully and courageously, and it will naturally follow that your work will be a real pleasure and progress will be a delightful accomplishment. When we know and learn this phrase that “production skills minus spiritual skills” means that we know what we should be doing as far as our production skills are concerned, but the average believer lacks the spiritual skills needed to fulfill the production skills.

here are three principles of doctrine that I need to make sure that all of us understand as the basic doctrines that we need to learn, to metabolize, or to apply:

  1. The Two Power Options.
  2. The Three Spiritual Skills.
  3. The Four Spiritual Mechanics.

The first one mentioned are the Two Power Options. The “Two Power Options” are being filled with the Spirit and the power of the word of God; (EPH 5:18; HEB 4:12). The filling of the Holy Spirit is the first power option and the first spiritual skill in the spiritual life. Without the filling of the Spirit we do not have the power to live the Christian way of life. Also don’t forget that the filling of the Spirit converts human I.Q. into spiritual I.Q., so that we have equality to learn spiritual phenomena as taught in 1CO 2.

PSD #4, Grace orientation, PSD #8, Impersonal love for all mankind would solve this problem.

15) Displacement is a defense mechanism which attaches to a neutral object mental consents which were originally attached to someone or something else. Sometimes this classified as sublimation. This is when a person starts falling in love with their boat or their car or their animals because they were hurt by someone else or because they want to fulfill a certain need they once had!

PSD #5, Doctrinal orientation, PSD #6, A personal sense of destiny, would solve this problem.

16) Hypochondria is a defense mechanism where the person becomes preoccupied with physical symptoms disproportionate to any actual physical disturbance. The pain can even be very real to these people. A lot of people use this when they’re simply tired and do not want to function socially…so they fake sick!

PSD #5, Doctrinal orientation, PSD #6, A personal sense of destiny,

PSD #7, Personal love for God the Father, PSD #10, Occupation with Christ as the priority solution to life would solve this problem.

17) Direct attack which is a defense mechanism in which anger is used as a solution to the problems and frustrations of life. This type solves problems by such things like temper tantrums. When they make wrong decisions and are caught in the act, instead of admitting their wrong, they begin to attack others to try and switch the blame. They get on the offensive and attack because they don’t know how to handle their mistakes. This is a total state of irresponsibility by refusing to take responsibility for one’s problems and failures.

Direct attack has three objectives.

  1. The satisfaction of approbation lust by focusing attention on self. This is when an individual who is not being recognized will attack someone who is.
  2. The second objective of direct attack is the satisfaction of power lust by controlling the people in your vicinity. This is the abuse of authority and taking advantage of those who are inferior, or in your opinion, stupid!
  3. The third objective is the gratification of inferior feelings by getting even under revenge.

Many believer’s end up in direct attack because they have revenge motivation. They hate! The interesting thing is that they hate in their mental attitude. They may not reveal their hatred with words or actions, but their hatred is in the mental attitude of their soul. Remember that you are not always what you appear to be on the surface. For mankind can hide his thoughts and become a master at the practice of hypocrisy. Therefore, “the real you is the thought content of your soul.”

PRO 23:7, “As he thinks within himself, so he is.  He says to you, `eat and drink,’ but in his right lobe [heart referring to his thinking] he is not with you.”

This verse uses hypocrisy as an illustration of the fact that we are what we think, not what we do, and not necessarily what we say. A person who hates will end up somehow causing strife;

PRO 10:12, Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions. 

A person who hates also will lie about the object of their hatred;

PRO 10:18, He who conceals hatred {has} lying lips, and he who spreads slander is a fool. 

PSD #4, Grace orientation, PSD #5, Doctrinal orientation, PSD #6, A personal sense of destiny and PSD #8, Impersonal love for all mankind would solve this problem.

I hope you realize that the first two problem solving devices are involved in all of these because the PSD 8-10 cannot function without rebound and the filling of the Spirit.

18) Sublimation is the human viewpoint thinking of finding a new outlet, hobby, system of entertainment, etc., as a new drive or outlet for one’s frustration. This defense mechanism is employed in the place of dealing with one’s problems. The key word here is always something “NEW”.

PSD #6, A personal sense of destiny, PSD #9, +H or sharing the happiness of God would solve this problem.

19) Subjectivity is the defense mechanism which involves self-pity in that you assume no-one loves you and you feel left out and depressed, for example, Elijah in 1KI 19:3-4. This type of believer has no capacity for life, love and happiness and so sublimates by becoming a slave to some detail of life, thereby ending up a loser! They’re always feeling sorry for themselves and feel like the weight of the world is upon their shoulders.

PSD #3, The faith-rest drill, PSD #4, Grace orientation

PSD #5, Doctrinal orientation and PSD #6, A personal sense of destiny would solve this problem.

20) Undoing is a defense mechanism in which the person engages in behavior designed to symbolically make amends for or negate previous thoughts, feelings or actions. This is the “I’ll make it up” game. God does not want you to make it up…He wants to you to rebound and recover.

PSD #1, Rebound technique, PSD #3, The faith-rest life; PSD #4 Grace orientation; PSD #5, Doctrinal Orientation would solve this problem.

The point is that all of these defense mechanisms are the function of human volition or your own free will choosing to use them. They cannot and they will not be able to solve your problems.

The spiritual life that God has provided just for you has all the solutions to every single problem you will ever face. Solutions that are not only designed to solve your problems but to make you a better person as well! When you are involved in the plan of God and the living spiritual life that God has provided, you will have all kinds of afflictions and difficulties to deal with.

If it’s just you, you’ll have to deal with these things personally.
If your marriage is based on doctrine, you’ll have to deal with these things in your marriage.
If your family is involved in doctrine, you’ll have to deal with these things as a family.
If your church is teaching doctrine, you’ll have to deal with these things as a church.

The fact of the matter is, if you use the problem solving devices instead of defense mechanisms, you will prosper and be a better person for it.

It is like the children of Israel in EXO 1:12, But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out, so that they were in dread of the sons of Israel.

This is what the apostle Paul meant when he said in 2CO 1:3-7, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction [He provides for us everything we need in the invisible assets and the problem solving devices] so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort [the same assets we have available to us] with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.

A very important principle emerges which is the fact that choosing to use any Defense Mechanism is volition going in the opposite direction from your spiritual life. Defense mechanisms are the function of your volition when you are living outside of your spiritual life. There is a tremendous conflict between Defense Mechanisms and metabolized doctrine.

So, Defense Mechanisms are no substitute for the function of the Ten Problem Solving Devices in the spiritual life that God has provided just for you. If ever there is to be rebound or recovery, it has to begin with problem solving device number 1, the rebound technique.

On the other hand, if you are on a self-righteous kick, you are involved with some type of Defense Mechanism which equals pseudo tranquility. And, if this continues with no rebound, it ruins your spiritual life. This is one of the things that causes a believer to be a loser. They can never metabolize doctrine and live the spiritual life because they are still clinging to the Defense Mechanisms and have not replaced them with problem solving devices. They need to metabolize doctrine so that the spiritual transformation will take place in their soul.