When the Best Offense is No Defense

By: Duke Rohe

Do you want to know one of the neatest little liberating secrets God has in store for us?

The best offense is NO defense.

We spend eons of effort trying to explain our intentions or justify our actions. When we know we are right, we seem to put on a fight-to-the-death attitude in order not to be misunderstood, or worse yet, be misjudged. Our honor is at stake. Our integrity and our very being is doubted. How could anyone, especially someone whom we respect and love, think such a hurtful thing? It is at these times we allow our spirits to become wounded. Offenses get seeded and weeds of resentment begin to sprout. The bad thing about weeds is that they readily and quickly make more weeds. Those weeds, if left unnoticed, can grow into full-blown stalks of bitterness. If we don’t stop the resentment at its root, we are destined to grow more of the same, and resentment is a cruel taskmaster.

So how do we do nip this ugly cycle in the bud? As soon as we catch ourselves explaining, justifying, transferring blame or in any way defending ourselves; a big "Holy Yellow Caution Sign" ought to pop up in our spirits. These are the times when we are getting ready to defend against an attack of criticism. It is then, that we raise our walls, which tend to intensify the attack from the opposite side. Our defenses open up a mind of wrong assumptions, a victim mentality, which become fertile ground for miscommunication. Listening becomes warped and the truth of a matter can hardly be found. Both parties end up throwing their rights, their sides, and their justifications at each other until a wall of distrust calcifies between the two. Ever heard the saying ‘two wrongs don’t make a right’? Well, here’s a case where two self-justifying ‘rights’ do make a wrong. So, how can we get past this in a godly way?

I offer a solution....... allow God to protect your honor, your position, your self-worth. We have no righteousness aside from Him anyway. Jesus didn’t justify Himself to the Sanhedrin, the Pharisees or Herod. Stop and take time to unguardedly listen to the other person's claim. Why do they feel the way they do? Why are they hurt? What is in behind their statement? It is when we trust God to be our defense, that we, with receptive hearts, can hear the other person. It is possible to be open to part-ownership in the problem, even if we don’t know what our part is yet. It is only then, when we are open and our walls are down, that we can see what can be done in ourselves to grow from it and correct it. 

This is when true loving, active listening occurs. This is when those phantom walls can be released for better things, such as a fuller understanding. Proverbs 2:3 says "Cry out for insight and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver."  And then the promise comes in verse 9, "Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair..." So quit protecting, which is a form of self-righteousness which gains nothing; and begin opening up to the new ways God can use you. Engage yourself into a life which relies on His Word for shielded protection. You now have the freedom to ask, in the face of accusation or circumstance: How can I learn from this? How can I grow righteously? How can I be totally unguarded, yet fully protected in Him? What freedom this brings when we can attain it! The energies formerly spent on keeping your boat afloat can now be channeled toward crushing confusion. Doesn't knowing the enemy's battle plans make a difference in making sure he doesn't win? Letting God fight our battles. Letting our Guard be our God and not ourselves. Hallelujah! What a new capacity to learn He will give us! What a new way view life we can walk in when we trust that He knows more! 

I pray that this new way of thinking has blessed you and that you will share your victories in the comments below.
DUKE ROHE:
Duke currently works at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center as a Quality Improvement Education Specialist. Duke graduated from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering. He is a Life Fellow member of the Healthcare Information Systems Society and has achieved its Quality Management Award, Outstanding Fellows Service Award, and Chapter Leadership Award.
 
Keynote speaker and author of numerous books in his own field, Duke is also a prolific writer of shorter features that are distributed along his path throughout his workplace and through family-oriented ministries such as Covenant Keepers. We were honored with his presence at our Annual Conference in Charlotte NC in 2018 and continue to look forward to the encouraging, growth-stimulating articles he provides for us. He currently resides in Houston, TX.

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