“9 Tricky Defense Mechanisms That Are Ruining The Communication In Your Relationship”


Hey friends, I was published on Thought Catalog! It’s a post called 9 Tricky Defense Mechanisms That Are Ruining The Communication In Your Relationship. It covers defensive tactics like rationalizing, deflecting, blame-shifting, gaslighting, and other easy-to-spot moves.

The original post is herehttps://jsparkblog.com/2017/03/13/9-tricky-self-deceptive-defense-mechanisms-that-completely-undermine-dialogue/

Here’s an excerpt, the one I’m most guilty of:

6) Value Judgment / Moralizing. Measuring a person’s inherent value as inferior, especially when their preferences or personalities are different than yours.

The way you think is not how things are. Can I say that again? The way you think is not how things are. It’s simply how you think. Your personality and preferences are not the barometer by which the world turns. I struggle with this one the most; I’m always tempted to mold someone into my own image. Even when there are healthy standards to abide by, it becomes a problem when we grade someone’s value based on how well they’ve caught up to them. And surprise!—we rationalize or blame-shift or deflect when we ourselves don’t measure to our own standards. To truly understand another person requires knowing the whole story, and not just a tiny slice of their life.


Read the rest here. Love y’all, friends! — J.S.

It’s Them Or It’s Me: But It’s Probably Me

I’m quick to blame others because 99% of the time, I’m right that they’re wrong. I have these really ironclad, airtight, foolproof reasons why I have to be right. There’s no way other people could have thoughts of their own. I’ve seen every angle, I’m being fair and honest, I see what they can’t, I’m telling both sides of the story as it really is.

They’re holding me down, man. They’re making my job harder. I could do much better if it weren’t for these rules and restrictions. Once I get my own thing going, I’ll do all the things they never let me do. Then they’ll see, you know. They’ll regret not tapping into my unrealized fount of pure raw wisdom.

I think like this all the time. It’s true that they are, in fact, holding me down. It’s true that I’m set aside and stepped on; there are better things being built on my back while I do the grunt work. It’s true these people could care less for my well-being. And yes, I’m right and they’re wrong.

But — I get the sneaking suspicion that maybe I use THEM as an excuse to do the bare minimum. I have a way of doing the easiest part of the work, of slipping away from manual duties, of checking out my brain when I feel this is “beneath me.” It’s pride. It’s selfishness. It’s all the things I’m not willing to say about myself, because it’s a horrifying realization I don’t know how to confront yet.

Maybe they are right about a few things, and I am wrong about many things. And my well-being shouldn’t be based on what’s happening around me, but on the actual opportunities given. We have a way of seeing how we’re held down instead of the places we could build up. Because more than fearing failure, many times I fear success. I am a coward not because I do little, but because I’m afraid of the unimaginable possibilities of real potential for greatness.

Continue reading “It’s Them Or It’s Me: But It’s Probably Me”

Four Things To Remember When You Rebuke

Rebuking is one of the hardest things to do. We’re either too soft or too strict, and for most of us polite church people, we would rather go on a mission trip to a war-torn third world country than speak truth to our neighbor.

But once you’re ready to pay the cost of awkwardness, there’s some things we need to know.

Continue reading “Four Things To Remember When You Rebuke”

“Some Preach from Envy and Rivalry”



An article from Nick Bogardus on The Resurgence.

Excerpt:

“Want to know the easiest way to build a platform these days? Set yourself up as the antithesis to a person or position of influence. Be the contrarian or critic who rides the coattails. It’s easier to be known for what you’re against than what you are for.

“Their ability to make a living is based on site traffic and conference invitations, and they build their reputations—and traffic—by walking over others.

“We’re more likely to tear each other down—and that means the people who are around us—than put in the effort to build each other up. Because rage is easier than rationality, and it’s more popular.”

Continue Reading at The Resurgence


Read Related:
— Us Vs. Them: A Church of Religious Superiority
— A Christian Is Not Up To Your Damned Standard
— I Love My Doctrine More Than Jesus: Why No One Cares About Your Theology



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Guest Post: Should I Confront My Youth Pastor?

This is a great Q&A from The Bridge, an excellent ministry in Chicago.

About confronting your youth pastor, and extends to confronting any of your church leaders.
(Re-posted with permission from The Bridge.)

Anonymous asked:
I am very involved with my church, and I love the people there. But the thing is, I think there are some things that the leadership, especially the youth pastor, could be doing better. He’s not like doing anything wrong, he’s just not getting the kids fired up the way he could. How do I bring the subject up in a way that he will listen to me?

Matt from The Bridge answered:

Don’t. This thing you are thinking about doing, do not do it. I get how you are feeling, it is a feeling that permeates youth. I know you are on fire for the Lord and you want everyone else to be where you are. That is not a bad thing, it’s a great thing. The idea of telling someone in a position of responsibility that they are dropping the ball, based on your zero years of experience, is not a good use of that energy.

Continue reading “Guest Post: Should I Confront My Youth Pastor?”