Believer, why are you so defensive? When someone points out an error you made, a mistake, a failure, why do you feel the need to argue and defend yourself and explain why you made a mistake and screwed up? Why do you feel the need to throw others under the bus instead of taking responsibility and bearing the burden on your shoulders, whether you did it or not? Are you counting yourself as more valuable than others or vice versa?
Are you so insecure that you need to be right every time? Are you so insecure that you can’t fail because if you mess up and fail, then you are a failure? Do you label yourself? Do you think, “If I just prevent myself from failing, I’m going to be good enough”? Don’t you realize that we all fail and if we are not failing, we are not trying? Are you struggling with your own identity so much that you have to be defensive and in the defensive position every time?
Listen to your words. Check if you are constantly saying:
- “Well, I didn’t do that.”
- “That’s not me. That was someone else.”
- “I didn’t mean to.”
- “Here’s what I meant by that …”
- “That’s not really a failure. I didn’t really miss that.”
- “I didn’t really make that mistake. Here’s what truly happened. Let me make sure you know that it wasn’t my intention.”
Do you hear yourself saying that type of thing every day, day in and day out? Instead of accepting responsibility for what you have done, you defend yourself, trying to redeem your own reputation. You weren’t called to redeem your own reputation. You are called to lay it down and hold up the reputation of Christ. He doesn’t need any defending.
Ask people around you if you are constantly defending yourself or throwing others under the bus to save yourself. I dare you to have the courage to ask that question. Now, asking your spouse is one thing. Your spouse will probably tell you, “No, you’re not,” to try to keep the peace and the unity. Ask some other people—your closest friend, your coworkers, your children.
One time, my kids said, “Hey, mom. We’d like to talk to you. We don’t really want to hear an argument about your perspective. We just want you to hear us.” They wanted to be heard. They didn’t want to hear my perspective on why I chose to do what I did. They wanted me to hear their frustration.
Do you have a reputation of being defensive and not easy to talk to? Maybe you said you were going to do something, but you didn’t keep your word. Instead of admitting you messed up, you try to defend yourself. You tell people why and make excuses, failing to count the cost of how you have lost credibility in the eyes of others.
You may not think this applies to you, but trust me, I am pretty sure it applies to most people. Look at your behavior and stop defending yourself.