Default Defense Mechanisms vs Godly and God Mechanism

Default Defense Mechanisms vs Godly and God Mechanism May 31, 2024

Photo by Payman Shojaei on Unsplash

Natural Defenses

Defense mechanisms are natural, normal, in-built, and part of all life forms. Flora, fauna, and humans use various defence tactics and strategies to exist and survive in this world.

Plants have developed natural defense systems, physical, chemical or mechanical, to fight against infection. Mechanical defense mechanisms include thorns and trichomes (plant hairs). Chemical defense mechanisms are found within the leaves. Examples of physical defenses are thorns on roses and spikes on trees such as hawthorn. Plants use these mechanisms to protect and defend themselves from environmental impact factors such as drought, wind, rain, temperature extremes, micro-organisms, and herbivores.

Animals, to be safe from predators and to survive other dangers, have evolved a variety of ways to defend themselves. These include built-in armor, shocking or camouflaged colors, poison or a bad smell. Many animals have also adapted certain behavior patterns, such as herding or being active at night, to stay safe from predators. Some animals have also developed making skills to build extra defenses against danger.

Humans physically have three primary lines of defense to fight against foreign invaders, including viruses, bacteria, and fungi. The immune system’s three lines of defense include physical and chemical barriers, non-specific innate responses, and specific adaptive responses.
Human body defense | Shutterstock

Default Defenses

Humans are complex beings, for they not only possess physical bodies, but also a personality defined by a mind, will, and emotions. Their behavior and their mental attitude is the result of interaction within and between their internal biological, psychological and social systems, and their physical and social environment. As such, their defense mechanisms are not just physical but encompass and extend to mental and emotional aspects too.

All life forms have evolved multiple strategies for defending against threats survival and physical integrity. However, humans have also evolved and developed defensive mechanisms to protect and promote the integrity of the human psychological architecture – sense of self, identity, and esteem.

The defense mechanisms that are a natural part of human psyche are behaviors that people use to separate themselves from unpleasant events, actions, or thoughts. It helps their mind cope with uncomfortable or traumatic situations or emotions. People tend to use defense mechanisms as a way of avoiding their feelings and emotions or excusing their behavior. Hence, these mechanisms become problematic when applied too frequently or for too long.
Human Interactions | Google Images

Normal Disposition 

The Bible declares that God made man in His own image and in His own likeness. Watchman Nee and Witness Lee assert that God’s image is His inward being and likeness is His outward form (likeness is outward appearance, whereas image is inward nature and character). Moreover, man became a living soul when God breathed into him, something He didn’t do for any other creation. Since human beings are uniquely made and divinely put together, we do not merely respond to instincts as animals. We are guided and  modulated by insight, intuition and conscience as we possess what is called a sixth sense. People are not known just by their physique (body) and their psyche (soul), but also by their spirit (pneuma).

As human beings, we are set apart from other life forms by these aspects as well as their interactive results. We are not only amazingly made, but we are also differently made. We are able to grow, evolve, and rise to heights of divinity as well as destiny. That is why our protective tendencies are not just limited or confined to the physical, and the psychological. They extend beyond and above these known and visible facets to the invisible but intrinsic spiritual nuances.
Blame game |

Human Mechanism 

In Gen 3:7, we see that when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they made a covering for themselves. They also hid themselves from Him when He came seeking their company. Thus, our default action for facing spiritual distress is covering up or hiding behind a façade. Next, when forced out of hiding and made to face reality, Adam and Eve tried to bluster their way out. Our normal human reaction, when confronted with our faults, is to deny and cast blame rather than owning up to our fault. These are then our defense mechanisms to handle spiritual distress.

Jesus Christ, the second Adam, has shown us the true life skills needed to live life as a complete human being – body, soul, and spirit. Watchman Nee writes: From the beginning of Genesis to the time of the Lord Jesus, no one had ever before attained to God’s required standard of man. Adam looked like God in appearance, but he was not like God in character. The effect of his fall was to “fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3.23), thus forfeiting God’s image. And so has it been with all who have followed Adam. Before the birth of our Lord Jesus there was not one typical or normal person in this world. No matter how the sages of the past disciplined and improved themselves, they failed to attain this goal. All fell short before God.

Nee goes on to declare: The one whom God had sought out for so many years was finally found in the person of the Lord Jesus. The man whom He had longed for but had never before seen on earth is now seen and presented. The Lord Jesus is the truly typical, normal man. He does not represent men but is himself the representative man.

While on earth, He faced all types of situations, went through the most negative of circumstances, faced the greatest stress ever, extreme opposition for all His goodness, and finally was penalized for no fault of His. Yet He lived as the perfect human being, and therefore His life shows us that we too can live on earth like Him.

Jesus the ultimate Man | Freepik

Remarkable Human

Two keys stand out as the basis and base of all Jesus life on earth. One, His relationship with and dependence on His Father in Heaven. Two, His relationship and love plus service towards fellow beings. This is encapsulated in His own words as what one should do in life: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Jesus spent time with His Father, sought to do His will, and did nothing of His own. He always pleased His Father, seeking to glorify God with His life, and in submission to His dictates. Heb 10:5-9 shows us that Jesus understood that as a human being he was given a body to glorify God and do His will. He depended fully on God, and never sought to be independent of or from Him. He is the contrast to the first Adam who sought to be his own master, the root of rebellion and sin.

Then, Jesus spent time with people, teaching and training, healing and delivering them.   The Gospels portray Jesus as one who did went apart to be with God, but He never neglected people. He was available to crowds, and went around accompanied by a group of companions He chose to be with Him always. They were not perfect people since this motley band included a betrayer (Judas), a denyer (Peter), a doubter (Thomas), avengers (James and John), a swindler (Mathew), and others who were up to the mark. Yet, he embraced them with their faults, accepting them as they were, and not as they ought to be!
Community mechanism

Divine Design

This then is our model, our answer, and our mechanism for living life fully – love God, love others. Some may say, but oh Jesus was God, and so He could do it, especially when people do not do right. That’s not correct theology, for the book of Hebrews clearly shows that He was made like us, and went through every circumstance we go through. If we use this as our excuse, we will not come into or enjoy the abundant life Jesus promised us!

The early churches and its leaders showed the same trait and outlook of Christ. They lived amidst very severe trials and extreme poverty, and propagated the gospel amidst years of continued persecution. Yet, they were filled with overflowing joy, and welled up in rich generosity towards others. Their stressful circumstances and challenges did not deter them or prevent them from enjoying life on earth. They seemed to have developed, like the One they chose to follow and emulate, godly mechanisms to handle life’s issues, not defense mechanisms!

It is obvious that their mechanism to handle life was to be together often, share things together, care for one another, and face everything together as a community. It was this community process and lifestyle that was their defence mechanism against all negativity, both in people and happenings.*ccid_lVp8qJGN&form=L2MS03&iss=SBIUPLOADGET&sbisrc=IMG_PICKER&
Family mechanism | Bing

God-given Mechanism 

This way of life, instituted and showcased in the Bible, begins with the word  ‘It is not good for the man to live alone’! No other suitable companion was found for Adam in all the creatures of the world, except his own kind. This is the godly order seen in every portion of the Word of God. It is His way, and His mechanism for all of humanity.

Individualism and individualistic attitudes have robbed us of the natural healing and health that come through normal human interactions. God did not create us to be individuals but to be part of community processes. Agreed that, as in any instrument, people have misused and abused such communal ties through personal agenda. However, that does not detract from the fact that God has ordained many things within the safety of a community.

Even within families, people tend to exist as isolated entities and floating islands living together with no solid anchor, merely sharing a common space. A family ought to become and evolve into being a functional unit that provides emotionally rational and mutually beneficial support to its members.
Church mechanism |

Back to Basics

The church used to be an instrument of peace and health, by reconciling and having a relationship with God and man. Today, even within this dwelling place of God, His Body and His bride, there is a real partisan and selfish attitude. We have forgotten the biblical injunction and principleFor this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another…This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

God’s answer to humanity, His defense mechanism, is unity with divinity and community. His panacea for ill-health and prognosis for mental welfare is communion with God and commitment to community. When we reject these simple remedies and restoratives, we turn to, wha the book of Jeremiah says: “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

Let’s get back to our roots, our foundations, our basics of life and living, as we were created to be.

It is mandatory for us to do this inspite of our trepidation and fear, for the cost of not doing it is much more than the cost of doing it!

We pay a greater price when we don’t follow divine creation and salvation order than when we do it!

Choose what you would develop – defense and coping mechanisms,  or godly and God mechanisms!

*Look forward to my followup article Who is your Defence Attorney!

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