Tuesday, June 28, 2011

28th June 2011 Are you a Porcupine ...Friendly but fearful? Outgoing but shy?

Mathew 5:39: “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

This week I’d like to share some spiritual insight from the Self Defense Mechanism of the Porcupine.
Life lesson in Self Defense from Mr. Prickly Porcupine:
 A peaceful animal, the porcupine will try to run away if it feels there’s danger. It’ll make loud chattering noises as a warning for predators to leave. If  it can’t get away, its muscles tighten forcing its quills to come out. It will tuck its head in, lean forward and thump its back feet while swinging its tail as a warning. Sometimes loose quills fly out of the tail or if a predator tries to get too close, the quills will stick them. The quills are an amazing defense mechanism — when they get lodged in the skin, body heat makes the barbs swell, making it even harder and more painful to pull them out.   Source : 

Are you like this porcupine?

Though we may be harmless, peaceful, fun loving ,sincere, friendly and caring individuals capable of great friendships / relationships, just like the porcupine-many times sensing the danger of being hurt we suddenly close up. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, we are on our guard whenever a predator (person) gets close. No one likes to hug a porcupine however warm in heart he may be! People who are initially drawn to us by our friendly cheerfulness slowly get the impression that they are not welcome because of our self defense tactics and so leave the scene confused.This is the reason we may appear a paradox to many –friendly and yet fearful! Outgoing and yet shy!This post tries to explain why this happens and how to deal with it.

The same thing that happens with the porcupine happens with the best of us too. We long for close friendships, yet are reluctant to reveal the vulnerable part of ourselves. The real reason for this is because we had at some moment in the past been totally trusting and open only to have been dealt a painful wound on our soul. Slowly we pick up the broken pieces,try and piece them back together but sadly the crack still remains. Licking our sore wounds,we make a conscious decision never to allow this to happen again!Many times in life we may find ourselves alone because of this very decision.We wait for people who we feel safe enough to open our hearts with. We may sometimes get such friends but the truth is they are one in a million and so we may have to wait a long time for such a friend. The common majority however falls in the other category of people and do not really care whether you will be hurt or not.Refusing to come out of our comfort zones ensures that we are comfortable by escaping rejection but it causes us a new and different kind of pain -the pain of loneliness.

The porcupine’s quill defense is effective, but still some predators (bobcats, cougars, lynx, wolves, wolverines , coyotes and especially fishers) use stealth and agility to avoid the quills. They are able to hunt porcupines without injuring themselves, by circling around the porcupine until they can bite its nose .After repeated bites to the nose, the predator then flips the rodent onto its back and exposes its unprotected soft belly.

As long as we live in this imperfect world dominated by Satan, no matter how hard we try to be careful, it is certain that either we will get hurt by someone or someone will get hurt by us.
Dear friend, have you unknowingly been a porcupine in your relationship with people just as I have been? There can only be one reason for that and that is you are trying to protect yourself from the Rejection or hurt of the past. The truth is that though doing this may ensure us some safety by saving us some pain, yet, we will never be able to live the abundant life that Jesus has died to provide us with. We will always be dominated by the fear of people and unknown situations which will hinder us from being effective witnesses to the Lord and also from reaching out to more people.
 The Solution?
That is exactly why Jesus tells us in Mathew 5 not to resist evil but to overcome evil with good. We don’t need Self Defense when we have the Almighty God as our Mighty Defender. He collects our every tears and hears our every cry. He heals not only our physical infirmities but also all the emotional wounds that have scarred our soul and which no Doctor can ever heal. Acc to Isa 53:4,5  “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; …….He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed.”
So let us put down our guard and allow others to see us just as we are. You may ask me the intelligent question “isn’t that putting ourselves at a risk of being wounded again or wounding another again?” You bet we are! However, the freedom from bondage and the real joy of living definitely makes it worthwhile! After all, just like a child runs to his mother when he bruises his knee and she apples medicine and kisses the pain away,similarly we have a Loving Father to whom we all can run to any time we bruise our souls. Psalms 147:3 says : “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

We can thus definitely stop being prickly Porcupines and instead choose to be soft, cuddly and affectionate Pandas!

Click to hear the wonderful song “It’s Hard to Hug a Porcupine” by Martha Hall Bowman:   
Have a blessed week,

Take care, God bless,

Sparky Laurie

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