Most professionals agree: denial is the unintentional failure to deal with pain. Ask any kid—if they know punishment is inevitable they are tempted to lie to avoid pain. It is not necessarily all bad because it can be a coping skill which initially numbs us to changes we don’t wish to acknowledge due to circumstances such as a loss or death or grave disappointment. It can be a buffer to the psyche. In these kinds of cases, denial is usually the first stage of the grieving process.
While we all use denial to a certain extent to cope with pain, we never do so without risk. It tends to catch up with us when we fail to accept the truth. Denial is a powerful tool the enemy uses to convince us we have control of our lives. Scripture says, “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
We find it in the workplace: “My job is safe”; in schools: “It’s the teacher’s fault I got an F”; and most often, in relationships: “The reason he hurts me is I don’t show him the respect he deserves.” We hang onto the misbeliefs in an effort to soothe the inner anguish. It allows us to avoid coming to terms with what’s really going on.
Jesus said, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Luke 6:41). The Message paraphrase reads, “It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own.”
Never underestimate denial’s ability to cloud your vision. Remember, facts don’t cease to exist because they’re ignored. Take responsibility and say, “I have an issue. I want to deal with it now.” Confess to God. Then tell one safe person. Ask the person if she or he would be an accountability and prayer partner. It is essential to walk in the light of a Christian community.
We can choose to see truth and reality. We can grab God's hand and choose to step out of our comfort zone and begin the transformation process into Christlikeness. Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Yes! Yes! Yes!
This is an excerpt from my book Something Happened On My Way to Hell by Kimberly Davidson.