It has been said that the first step to healing is to acknowledge one’s need of it. Living in denial is a deceptive trap that keeps us in bondage. An example of this is seen in Mark 2:15-17: “While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with Him and His disciples, for there were many who followed Him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw Him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked His disciples: “Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
The tax collectors and sinners recognized their need of a Savior, and followed Him. The Pharisees and teachers of the law, on the other hand, showed contempt of His association with those considered the outcasts of society. Their self-righteousness blinded them to their own need, thus, cutting themselves off from His salvation and mercy.
When we live in denial, we create our own false reality that is rooted in pride. This can be seen in those who believe that everyone else is the problem; they couldn’t possibly be to blame. When others disagree with our views, we automatically believe that they are wrong, we certainly couldn’t be! Denial is also categorized by refusal to acknowledge painful memories, thoughts or feelings. Doing so, of course, cannot make them go away. Facing the truth about ourselves and/or our hurtful situations is very hard, but it’s the only way to get healing and freedom.
Jeanne McElvaney wrote, “There is a moment in our healing journey when our denial crumbles; we realize our experience and it’s continued effects on us won’t “just go away”. That’s our breakthrough moment. It’s the sun coming out to warm the seeds of hope so they can grow our personal garden of empowerment.”
Jesus said that when we know the truth, the truth will set us free. May God give us all the grace we need to face the truth, acknowledge our need of healing, and receive the freedom He has already paid for and longs for us to have.