The title of Chapter 6 is “Denial–If I Ignore It, Maybe It Will Go Away.”
You might ask, why is Pastor Idleman going here?
Denial is such a common pop psychology term. It is not unusual to hear it on the news, expressed on talk shows and presented in tv dramas. Some cable tv shows spend a lot of time presenting people who are struggling with denial–mainly drug addicts.
What is denial?
Kendra Cherry, “Psychology Expert” on the About Education Website posted in 2015 states that “denial is probably one of the best known defense mechanisms, used often to describe situations in which people seem unable to face reality or admit an obvious truth (i.e. “He’s in denial.”). Denial is an outright refusal to admit or recognize that something has occurred or is currently occurring. Drug addicts or alcoholics often deny that they have a problem, while victims of traumatic events may deny that the event ever occurred.
Denial functions to protect the ego from things that the individual cannot cope with. While this may save us from anxiety or pain, denial also requires a substantial investment of energy. Because of this, other defenses are also used to keep these unacceptable feelings from consciousness.
In many cases, there might be overwhelming evidence that something is true, yet the person will continue to deny its existence or truth because it is too uncomfortable to face.
Denial can involve a flat out rejection of the existence of a fact or reality. In other cases, it might involve admitting that something is true, but minimizing its importance.
Addiction is one of the best-known examples of denial. People who are suffering from a substance abuse problem will often flat-out deny that their behavior is problematic. In other cases, they might admit that they do use drugs or alcohol, but will claim that this substance abuse is not a problem.”
There is an endless list of denial behaviors other than a drugs or alcohol. Some people deny that the climate is changing. Currently some parents are denying that vaccinations protect their children from communicable diseases. I had an aunt [deceased] who told me that she smoked her whole life but denied that tobacco was going to kill her. This woman was a Masters-level psychologist, a member of Mensa. Yet she died of tobacco-related cancer.
Why is Pastor Idleman going here?
Denial works well for us sinners….very well.
This week we will explore how denial can keep us from being the Christians God wants us to be.