The Danger of Denial

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.—John 8:32

It may be difficult for you to admit that perhaps your heart and your head are not spiritually coordinated. Many Christians are content to live above the waterline and insist that it is quite unnecessary to wrestle and struggle with the things that go on deep inside us. Their motto is: just trust, persevere, and obey. This is fine as far as it goes, but in my opinion it does not go far enough.

The effect of this teaching is to blunt the painful reality of what the Bible says about the condition of the human heart: “The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it? I, Yahweh, examine the mind” (Jr 17:9-10). It is possible for even mature Christians to be self-deceived, to not really know their own hearts. This is why we must live in constant dependence on God, inviting Him from time to time, as did the psalmist, to “search me, God, and know my heart” (Ps 139:23).

There is a word to describe the attitude of those who ignore what may be going on deep inside them and concentrate only on what they can see above the waterline, and that word is denial. In many Christian circles, maintaining a comfortable distance from what may be going on deep down inside is strongly encouraged. But nothing can be gained from denial. In fact, I would say it is one of the major reasons why our feet are not like “hinds’ feet” and why we slip and slide on the slopes that lead upward to a deeper understanding and knowledge of God.


God, I realize I am dealing with something too devastating to pass over quickly or lightly. Help me be aware of the tendency that is in me to deny that I deny. Stay close to me at this moment, dear Father, for without You I can do nothing. Amen.

Further Study

Gl 6; Rm 6:16-23

What was Paul’s word to the Galatians?

How are we to walk?

4 thoughts on “The Danger of Denial

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