On the defense

Are you defensive?

I know I can be. I think it’s just human nature. If someone says something that is perceived as an attack, you go on the defense.
Or if you think you’re right and someone says you’re not, you go on the defense.

I can do it, whether I’m at work or teaching a Bible study.

However, many times it’s not an attack against what you are doing or what you believe. It’s actually someone just trying to help. And listen can sometimes teach you something or improve things.

Jesus ran into a group that became very defensive.

They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”
Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father.”
Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father — God.” John 8:39-41

Instead of listening and learning they became defensive and declared “we were not born of fornication!”

I know it would be a very hard thing to do, but their best course of action would have been to ask Jesus what the people who heard Peter’s Pentecost sermon asked,

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Acts 2:37

While they were “cut to the heart” they didn’t become defensive about it. Instead they sought help.

I’m going to do my best to improve my reaction to others and not become defensive. I may just learn something.

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