THE HUMAN PROBLEM OF SELF PROTECTION
Nearly all living things, even trees, have a God-given means of self protection. Some of these means are very effective, and some are minimal. None of these living things want to die, or even be hurt. They utilize their means of self protection when the situation seems to call for it.
We humans have a unique ability to anticipate danger to ourselves. We have the mental ability to plan for our own protection, and to utilize somewhat sophisticated means of protection. Nevertheless, many of us die young, and all the rest of us get hurt in various ways. God has put within our physical bodies a wonderful means of healing, which can close up wounds to our skin, and even knit back together torn muscle, if the injury is not too great.
However, we do not have a built in, God-given, means of healing the emotional wounds that come from our normal interaction with humans in our environment, and even with members of our own families. We live in a “hostile environment” (Rom 8:18-25, Living Bible is best here), and it hurts us. The enemy has put a lie into our culture which says, “time heals all wounds”. This is a lie spawned in hell. Millions of humans, in their 40s and on into old age, still suffer from childhood wounds to their souls. Time has not healed them. They try to cover up the wounds, and protect them from ever being touched by other humans, but they still hurt, and cause various patterns of avoidance and other kinds of dysfunctional reactions when they do get “poked”, even accidentally. We can learn ways of “coping”, but this leaves us dependent on patterns of protective behavior that are not best for our Christian lives. Only the Lord can heal emotional wounds.
The grade school child may be required to sing a short little solo in front of the class in order to see if he has done his homework and learned the little song the class will sing together at the school assembly. He doesn’t have a very good voice, and it cracks a couple of times, and then the class snickers at him. This humiliates him, hurts his feelings and wounds his soul. His self-protection system doesn’t want that to happen again. He may simply develop an avoidance pattern that causes him to shy away from circumstances where he may have to sing by himself, or even sing at all. He may make an inner vow that he will never sing again. This is a much deeper step into self-protection. It binds him into feelings and behavior that could prevent him from ever wanting to attend a church service, because singing will take place and he will be expected to sing. He may not be willing to share the reason for not wanting to go to church, even with his wife, because he believes it will sound like a silly and unacceptable reason for not going. He believes it is likely that he will then receive additional pressure to go. He doesn’t want additional humiliation over his reason for not going, so he may become hostile over the issue and make a pronouncement that “we are not going to talk about this any more……ever again”.