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  • Writer's picturejoyforministry

My first blog on defensiveness. Won't be my last.



I was so excited to write a post on defensiveness. I have worked and reworked this post a few times. I think I am not ready to write it. It is stirring up angst within me. I find myself being....kind of defensive. The one thing I don’t want to compromise on is being honest and genuine about the hard stuff in ministry. I want to show the ministry I love and also be upfront with the hard times and all the truth that goes with it. So as I was working on this particular post, I found myself giving examples of times that I wanted to be defensive, and I actually started defending myself and my husband to you in this blog. I don’t want to do that.

You know how the story goes. People criticize, hurt, or pick apart your family, church, and mostly your husband. You want to stand up and tell them all the ways they are wrong or only see half the picture. We have been through this many times from very small situations (like forgotten cookies for a meeting) - to very large situations, including a termination (yes, termination). I have wanted to expose lies, misinformation, inappropriate behavior, etc. I have wanted to call out the people who gossip and overreact to the smallest thing while we were trying to do something big.


It is not enough to say that I am not defensive. I want to say that I am FREE from feeling like I need to be. I am not going to finish this post with a nice little bow. Instead - I am going to admit that I am flawed here and I want to know what you think. Or how you react when you want to defend yourself. Maybe someone got it right. And they called your husband out for forgetting cookies when he should have remembered. Or maybe they got it wrong. And they are saying things that are not accurate. Ministry is hard because it is not just a church full of people that you want to defend yourself from. But at times it can also be volunteers and staff.

The things I know:

1. If I am defending myself then God can't defend me and God is much better at that.

2. I must ask myself what my motivation is in what I want to say to people.

3. I need to fight the right battles. Those are spiritual.

4. God sees all and He is the one that reveals truth.


Sometimes anything we do to defend ourselves will do damage in the body of Christ. It might feel good for a time. But the conviction of the Lord will leave it as an empty and divisive task.


Do you find it hard to not be defensive? How are some ways you refrain from that? I would love to know your thoughts. I promise you - this will not be my only post on this subject. Stay tuned.

2 comments

2 Comments


joyforministry
joyforministry
Sep 14, 2019

Thank you for that wisdom Amanda!  I agree with you.  There are times we give a defense and stand up for ourselves in life without being defensive and with right motivation (that is a big one).  We leave that and the results in God's hands.  And I think sometimes defensiveness can be a heart issue or an attitude.  I have had situations where if I defended myself - it only brought division.  So I needed to trust the Lord to fight for me and to bring to light the things that needed to be seen.  I appreciate your wisdom and perspective.

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Amanda Felice Smith
Amanda Felice Smith
Sep 10, 2019

This is a great topic for conversation in light of the dealing with difficult people within our ministry areas and even in the church. I don't find it to be a coincidence that I recently led our staff devotional last week on this VERY topic. We're studying Acts and my week just happened to fall on Acts 24. Paul had been wrongfully accused on multiple levels. I'm sure that anyone in leadership or in ministry for any period of time can probably relate to some of these false accusations. Paul was called a troublemaker, a ringleader with the intent of desecrating the temple and the list goes on. If you know anything about Paul, he lived his life with convict…

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