Tuesday, September 18, 2007

boogers and ink blots

Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. Proverbs 13:10

what would a discussion about humility be without a look at pride?

i once heard pride likened to having a booger hanging out of your nose. everyone can see it but you! sometimes we need to take a good look in the mirror, make an honest assessment and make the necessary adjustments.........easier said than done, i know. we are usually blind to our boogers so we need to be receptive to the input of others.

in my own life, pride seems to show up most in my defensiveness. i learned about "ink blots" this summer, at the jesus ministry conference in tacoma washington, http://www.jesusministryintl.org/.

"what are ink blots?" you ask......well let me tell you. they are a defense tactic that we use to confuse and ward off perceived attackers so we can escape. when an octopus feels threatened, it will emit a black inky liquid that clouds the water. we do the same thing when we won't let someone speak truth into our lives because we feel threatened. often it is an automatic response, a defensive disposition that we don't even know we are doing. these ink blots make others pay a cost for speaking truth into our lives. pretty soon, those close to us just stop trying. We miss out on the chance to receive god's direction through others and to grow.

here's some examples............recognize anybody?

cold shoulder
victimization/emotional manipulation
avoidance
defensive posture
blame
obstinate
denial
justification

this weeks homework:
ask someone close to you to help you identify an ink blot.
sound too scary? i know, i have been avoiding it too.

7 comments:

Max said...

Hi Ruth,

This is a very interesting topic:

So true, people present several defense mechanisms, and recently I read some in a Freud's study (being denial the most famous of them all)!
I know so many people in whom I can recognise these ink-blots.
I think that my defense mechanism is my seriousness: I am too serious sometimes (it gives me time to study people)!
I actually like analysing myself...well, I analyse any and everything!

Cheers!

P.S: Proverbs - my favourite book!

Ruth said...

Hi Max,

Thank you for your faithful support of my developing blog. I think I have a few viewers but they are too shy to leave a comment.

You seem to be a girl after my own heart! I too am a "serious analyzer". I think that is why I hooked up with my hubby who makes me laugh and helps me not to take myself so seriously.

Livingsword said...

Excellent juxtaposition to humility, often the more the voracious reaction to a justified comment the more the comment stuck home.

How would you contrast this with reputation and character?

Ruth said...

LS: So do you mean that the truth hurts? Definitely. And the more forcefully we will try to defend ourselves. I find that when I get worked up about something, I need to check in with myself about what is really going on.

Regarding your comment on the last post that "character is more important than reputation because reputation is just what others think of you but character is about who you really are".......I think that a reputation is the fruit of character in the same way that a tree shows its fruit. However, a reputation can be manufactured and people can make false assumptions about others. We need to be concerned about our character and the reputation will follow.....but only to those who truy know us. Jesus was hated by those who hated what he represented but loved by those who truly knew him.

BTW LS.........have you asked Chocolate Girl what your ink blots are? I am interested to know? Can I ask her myself?

Livingsword said...

Hi Ruth;

Some would say that character is a tree and reputation is its shadow. Personally it doesn’t work for me, often those with outstanding character do not have the reputation they deserve and vise versa.

Certainly you can talk to Chocolate Girl; I will get her to read the article. I am interested in her comment!

By the way you haven’t emailed me when you want to meet.

Make you a deal, I will regularly comment on your blog and you will do the same on mine :)

What do you think?

Livingsword said...

Hi R;

We have had a protracted conversation about your question. We NEVER emit a black inky liquid at each other.

Other than that we don’t know…

Ruth said...

Hello LS and CG!

so you NEVER emit ink blots at each other?? Well, I think that you are either in DENIAL or that neither of you feel threatened by one another and can be TOTALY HONEST in your relationship.

Now, there must be some place in your life where you do sometimes feel threatened and you resort to a defense mechanism of some sort. For instance, I find that I sometimes feel threatened in a work situation and feel the need to overly justify myself, rather than take a constructive critisism and move on.

And I'm not letting you go so fast....what do you mean that the tree shows it fruit principal "doesn't work for you"???? It is a spiritual truth!! You reap what you sow right? However, I know what you mean that we cannot judge others by their reputation because often the world judges wrong and we must judge for ourselves. Another spiritual truth in operation here is that God chooses the shabby things to confound the wise.

Regarding your request for reciprocal blog support, I accept. I always check out your blog and comment if I have an opinion. But I have to say that I don't always have an opinion because some of it just goes right over my head. However, I love to be educated on world affairs.

It's always good to banter with you LS. Have a great week!!!