Overcoming Defensive Pride
Priscilla Van Sutphin
May 14, 2007
www.upstreamca.org
goinupstream@hotmail.com

Self defensive pride is associated of course with defense of the self – what I think, what I do, what I want, what I said, My opinion, etc.  If you google it, you find narcissism talked about a lot because narcissism is the root of a jezebel spirit.  The person who is narcissistic is only concerned with self or how something looks for them, not the other person.

I know someone who so displays this almost every time I encounter them.  Everytime they call they aren’t interested in what’s going on with me, only what they have or are going through and they talk incessantly about self, and what I did in the past, and what I’ve done for the Lord, what I’ve had to put up with or am putting up with. There is tremendous resentment that you would even want to express anything because it would take away from their time to talk.  Know anyone like that ?

This person is likely to have either been spoiled , or greatly abused and so their sole focus is self.  When we embrace the CROSS of CHRIST, we attempt to die to self.  But the self does not die easily.  We are supposed to
Die to self adulation, self promotion, self centeredness and selfishness, but the flesh is a wieldy entity.  It wants what it wants, and does not just go away automatically.

At the basis of self defensiveness is a soul that was wounded so much, and rejected so much that they think they have to defend themselves or else they may have to endure more abuse, more humiliation than they have already endured.  The rejection spirit, cannot endure correction well, or edification even.  If you try to edify, they may take it as criticism. Their ego is so damaged, they can’t endure any more criticism, so they defend themselves by lashing out at you, or whomever might suggest they could be wrong.  Pride is a nasty sore on the face of the church.

The other night my daughter in law took me out for dinner and we went on some errands, and she was talking to me about the Miss America or is it Miss USA who posed in suggestive photos, yet was saying she is against gay marriage.  You see if the person who is on display as a Christian says something publically especially, then they should also be living the Word, not just spouting it, but not paying attention to their own behavior.  Amy picked up on that and was saying “Isn’t that kind of hypocritical ? “  And she was right.  Even Jesus said, “ He who has NO sin, cast the first stone.”  So we can’t be duplicitous in our living if we are going to stand up against perversion and unholiness.  Self defensiveness is not taking accountability for our actions but rather defending them even when wrong.  It is
”saving face”.  But no one is “saved” by dishonesty.

The person who is defensively prideful, [ and I’m not saying this as someone who hasn’t been, but because I have had to battle this as much as anyone ] usually has deep issues of anger that is a whole lot of pain not dealt with.
So when they are angered, they over-react with defensive pride to try and maintain their fragile ego, so as not to look bad or not have to admit they are wrong.  We’ve all done it some time or another, so don’t point fingers.

Again, the key to healing is the presence of Holy Spirit, healing those wounds, and helping us to forgive MORE DEEPLY what pain and resentment, anger or rage is in our hearts.  It’s not going to skip out, without a battle.
Inner healing gets at the roots of unforgiveness, and unbelief in the heart so that you can truly be free.  Sometimes demons don’t come out without inner healing first, and sometimes you can’t get inner healing till some of the demons get kicked out.  God doesn’t do it the same every time.  That keeps us from methods, and keeps us depending on GOD for what to do and how to do it.

I’ve gotten some healing just listening to or reading the Word. I’ve gotten much healing worshipping and being in the Presence of the Lord. I’ve gotten some in surprising circumstances.  I remember once as I was driving home from Stater Brothers, which is a grocery store here, and the Lord called my attention to some beautiful flowering plum trees, and the abundance of flowers on it, and spoke something to me, a truth, that I was suddenly delivered of a stronghold of the enemy. Sometimes we STRIVE to get the healing we want, but that just doesn’t work.  But working with the Holy Spirit and what HE leads, always works.  Following, not leading is key.

Another KEY per se, is doing the right thing, even when you don’t feel like it, as the Lord has shown me.  Each time you avoid the temptation to smart off,
It starves out the demon that keeps trying to get you to do it.  Each time you respond in kindness, instead of defense of self, but appropriate the humility of God, then you win a battle and are closer each time to overcoming it.

It also crushes the self when we apologize and humble ourselves when we DO blow it !  No one wants to be wrong. But when you are, then it is important to apologize. Another thing is to NOT respond to people when you are tired or stressed out. THAT is not the time to discuss things. Wait till you are rested and have prayed, been in the spirit, so you can hear from Holy Spirit what to say.  I’ve made that mistake a lot, and Holy Spirit told me not to respond when tired. 

Sometimes God pushes our buttons so to speak through others.  Especially if we are stubborn and refuse to admit our faults to one another, He may just take the lid off and allow a little RUBBING together.  One stone against another stone, to help make us THINK.  Flesh has a tendency to keep on doing the same ole things, or to get comfortable.  So then God may try to correct you through the words of someone else , who may not even be a Christian, just to get you to focus on what HE wants.

The path to freedom always requires HONESTY.  That is a fruit of the spirit that seems to be in short supply in this world today.  So does HUMILITY seem to be rare.  But they are essentials to getting the healing we want. We need to LOVE THE TRUTH, not just what WE want to hear.
That is often painful, but necessary.

The stubborn in heart will not listen, but that’s not your problem, if you are the one called to do the rubbing. It is God’s problem.  So you do the best you can but understand in any interaction that our own hearts can get in the mix.
Flesh has the tendency to want to correct someone else, to want to be the authority on something, wants to believe that every word out of it’s mouth is from God, wants to defend it’s position.  That’s just ridiculous.  All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of GOD.  ALL means all.

NO ONE but Jesus is perfect.  Embrace your failures/faults by thanking God for them firstly, and then thanking Him HE is helping you to overcome them each time you blow it.  Basilea Schlenk taught me that much, not that I do it perfectly every time. But thank HIM in all things, do NOT take on condemnation and self hatred, self criticism, etc. which get you focused on SELF again in a negative way.  Sing to the Lord a NEW SONG !  Put on the garment of PRAISE and watch the enemy RUN !!!  Hallelujah !
OVERCOME WITH PRAISE !

See this page to pray:
Prayers to Overcome Pride