Showing posts with label Projection. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Projection. Show all posts

Friday, August 11, 2023

Projection and “Reframing Our Experience” - Self-Deception Series 29 – Purity 1118

Projection and “Reframing Our Experience” - Self-Deception Series 29 – Purity 1118

Purity 1118 08/11/2023 Purity 1118 Podcast

Purity 1118 on YouTube: 

Good morning,

Today’s work of art, “Going Out: Deer Hunting in the Adirondacks” comes to us from Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait who put oil to canvas back in 1862 to share the beauty of a “wilderness experience”.  Tait hailed from New York City but from his work, we can assume he had some love for the great outdoors. I captured Tait’s work with my iPhone camera while at the “Adirondack Experience Museum on Blue Mountain Lake” and I thought I would share this artistic portion of my experience with you. The caption that accompanied Tait’s painting, written by Samantha Lafond, owner of Naturally Wild Taxidermy, stated: 

“One must truly experience nature to fully appreciate all it has to offer.”

I guess looking at paintings of it just won’t do. Sorry, Lafond goes on to write:

“An outdoorsman, or woman, is always excited about the next pilgrimage that may lay ahead. Adventures in the great outdoors allow us to thrive. They allow us to embrace new challenges and become a superior self. After a successful day’s hunt, good company, and a night’s rest, A. F. Tait shouts “see you down the line” to his good friend while his Adirondack guide “Captain” Calvin Parker prepares the boat for another great day in the wilderness”.  

Can I tell you; I love the great outdoors, I love looking at paintings of it, and I love the captions that inform us of some of the details about the artists and the scenes they create but if we consider their words honestly, we can realize that Tait isn’t the only one painting a picture here.  If we read into Lafond’s comments, we may question whether or not we are really an “outdoorsman” because we are inside, looking at “art”  of all things, and could walk away a little dejected if we aren’t “always excited about the next pilgrimage that may lay ahead” or don’t feel our outdoor excursions are making us into a “superior self”. 

And I guess we will just have to take it on faith that the people in this painting are who Lafond says they are – is that really Tait and Parker near that guide boat – is that really what they looked like, really? I wonder…  

And is Tait really saying, “see you down the line”? – because the look on those other men’s faces don’t seem too friendly, and that guy in the front of the other boat seems to be holding his oar as if he is responding to a curse from some “city slicker” more than he’s waving “howdy”… or at least it looks that way to me. 

But maybe my view and interpretation of this painting is a little clouded because I don’t hunt and don’t feel I have attained to my “superior self” as a great outdoorsman yet, and as someone who was raised as a small town “city dweller”, fear I never will!

I may be attributing thoughts and feelings to this painting that aren’t necessarily true.

How we “frame things” can really affect how we see them.  If you notice, I tried to crop out the frame that was around this painting because I didn’t want the border to affect our appreciation of the original work.  For better or worse, I wanted to present the painting as much as I could as it was.

One of the exhibits at the Adirondack Experience Museum demonstrates what a difference “framing” makes. The exhibit presents three different paintings and three different colored frames that you can remove and place as you see fit.  The quality of the presentation was positively or negatively affected depending on the color scheme of the painting and how it was complimented by or clashed with the color of the frame.

But that judgment of quality too was subjective, as we would project our preferences and the way we “saw it” to determine what frame went best with each painting, making us “like it” or “hate it.”

And that brings us to our current series on Self-Deception, where we have decided to investigate some of the ways we deceive ourselves by walking through Step 2, Deception Vs. Truth, of the Steps to Freedom in Christ to see what ways we may have been deceived by “the world” and ourselves and in what ways we have wrongly defended ourselves. 

So we present the sixth of the  “Ways to Wrongly Defend Yourself”:

6. Projection

The Steps to Freedom in Christ describes projection as “attributing to another what you find unacceptable in yourself.”  

To give an example of projection, I share the following passage about parenting teenagers from Meier, et al’s book, introduction to Psychology and Counseling – Christian Perspectives and Applications. 

“Parents generally view a teen-age son or daughter in one of three ways. Some parents project their own sinful impulses onto their teenagers, suspecting their teenagers of doing things of which they are not guilty. Other parents automatically assume that their teenagers are extensions of themselves. Both attitudes are unrealistic. The third, healthy, way is empathy. Parents who empathize with their teenagers accept them as separate individuals and try to understand them and their struggles. Especially in discussing sexual matters with their teenagers, parents should be sure they are not projecting unwarranted suspicion or assuming that their children think exactly as they do.[1]

Projection is associated with deception because it wrongly assumes something is true about someone else.  Although this passage and the Steps to Freedom’s description lead us to associate projection with negative, sinful, or unacceptable attributes, the opposite is also true. In our example, the second error that parents can make about their teenage children is that they are extensions of themselves, i.e. “they are just like me” in a good way – holding the same values, preferences, etc. – is also a form of projection.

To quote a Susan Kolod’s article (  on projection: 

“People project all the time and it’s neither good nor bad, depending on which qualities are projected and whether or not they are denied in the self.

Projection can be the basis of wonderful qualities such as empathy, generosity, and romantic feelings—or negative qualities such as rage, greed, and contempt.

Projection both helps people to fall in love and also to hate and revile others.”  

So in the example of parenting teenagers, we could think the best or worst about them based on our projections.  The “best practice” of any relationship is to accept others as separate individuals and try to understand them and their struggles for what they actually are, not what we assume they are. A healthy dose of truth and insight into what one another is thinking can really help our relationship because we often project, assume, and react to things that aren’t true.   

Beyond our relationships, understanding projection can also help us to understand ourselves as an examination of our projections can reveal to us unconscious emotions are desires that we are denying.  So the way we view and respond to others may have a lot to say about ourselves.   

In regard to the way we live as Christians, we need to judge things according to the truth and whole counsel of God’s word, accepting God’s, not man’s standards, for what is right and wrong and balancing it with the love of Jesus who paradoxically taught us to love our enemies. In our dealings with our neighbors, we need to understand the propensity for sin in the hearts of our fellow men but be sure to “not judge others”.  Jesus tells us.

Matthew 7:2 (NLT2)
2  For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

Jesus is in effect telling us that the standard we project on others will be projected on us, and He directs us to take our high level of critical discernment and to look at the man in the mirror, to concern ourselves with taking care of the “plank” or “log” in our own eyes before concerning ourselves with the “speck” in our neighbor’s eye. The indication is, that when we repent and successfully overcome our own sinful inclinations, we will have more compassion, empathy, wisdom, and care in encouraging others to overcome theirs.   

So to put that in terms that people of my hip-hop-loving generation can understand check yourself before you wreak yourself.  Endeavor to live by the truth of God’s word and be sure to examine what you are thinking about someone else to see if it’s true, and to see if it might be reflecting the struggles of your own mind and heart.     

And if you are projecting, harsh or negative attributes onto God that more accurately reflect your earthly father or other imperfect figures of authorities from your life, be sure to “check yourself” there too because our God may be just, righteous, and holy but He is also good, faithful, patient, gently, loving, and kind. 

When it comes to correcting projection, we need to seek the truth and allow it to set us free.   


For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. ( )

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials.

Isaiah 38:15-19 (NIV2011)
15  But what can I say? He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this. I will walk humbly all my years because of this anguish of my soul.
16  Lord, by such things people live; and my spirit finds life in them too. You restored me to health and let me live.
17  Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.
18  For the grave cannot praise you, death cannot sing your praise; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for your faithfulness.
19  The living, the living—they praise you, as I am doing today; parents tell their children about your faithfulness.

Today’s verse fall under the fifteenth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials

 15. “King Hezekiah praised God for loving discipline.

Today’s verses show us how the right view of God can give us an interpretation of our suffering that is contrary to the reality of the experience.  Suffering is a bad thing after all. Pain hurts. Loss hurts.  In and of themselves, it is difficult to view pain or loss as a “good thing” and to keep us from becoming masochists who would proclaim that it “hurts so good” let’s keep it real by admitting to the reality of the negative aspect of our pain and loss. We don’t want to live in denial after all by saying bad experiences are really good, because they are not. 

However, at the same time, when we can look past the pain of our suffering and see that it resulted in some positive effects, like our maturity or simply learning to “never do that again”, or that it is part of God’s purposes in some way the pain is “reframed”, so it doesn’t continue to be a source of anguish or bitterness. 

The loss of our loved ones hurts like hell, but in reality we are all destined to die – we couldn’t live forever after all. 

However, in Christ, we do live forever. 

So the loss of our loved ones, if they were in Christ, could be, and gently say should be, “reframed” so it:

·       isn’t a constant source of anguish – for our good, God wants us to accept the way things work in His kingdom and trust that He has things in control.

·       Is seen as a good thing for our lost loved one – they are no longer suffering on the earth and are in the splendor of God’s kingdom, their pain is gone, their suffering is gone, they know the truth of the mystery of God’s kingdom, they are with God, they have joy, and we will see them again.  

·       Is seen as a part of God’s purposes.  It may seem tragic to us, but it all went (oh even the pain and suffering) went according to God’s plan, we were meant to experience this way because that way it was supposed to be.

When we reflect on the details of Christ’s passion, we could second guess the Lord and wonder why Jesus had to suffer the things he did, to that extreme, etc.  – but Jesus knew what the plan was and because of the JOY set before Him (of the Father’s, Son’s, and Holy Spirit’s will being done and for our salvation) and suffered the cross.  God’s plan included suffering but when we realize the results we realize it was good one all the same.  

As for those who reject the Lord, we know they wouldn’t have been happy in His presence after life – they didn’t seek His company on earth so why condemn them to be in His company in eternity? Those who reject the Lord make themselves God and rightly are punished for their iniquities. They freely chose their path away from the Lord and they must walk it out. 

King Hezekiah was suffering greatly and was on the verge of death, but He knew that God was good. Even though He suffered He considered it good because, despite his physical pain and death that would eventually stop his time on earth, Hezikiah considered the discipline of the Lord to be a good thing because God’s love kept him from the “pit of destruction”.  

So know that God is good and do your best to “reframe” your suffering to look beyond the pain and loss to rest in His peace, here on earth and in eternity forever more.


As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 ( 

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

19 -The Spirit Teaching

Tests for the Spirit’s Teaching

From all that has been said above a very pertinent question arises, How may I know whether or not my teaching has been by the Holy Spirit? The simple but sufficient answer is, By the effects produced. First, that spiritual knowledge which the teaching of the Holy Spirit imparts is an operative knowledge. It is not merely a piece of information which adds to our mental store, but is a species of inspiration which stirs the soul into action. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). The light which the Spirit imparts reaches the heart. It warms the heart, and sets it on fire for God. It masters the heart, and brings it into allegiance to God. It molds the heart, and stamps upon it the image of God. Here, then, is a sure test: how far does the teaching you have received, the knowledge of Divine things you possess, affect your heart?

Second, that knowledge which the teaching of the Spirit imparts is a soul-humbling knowledge. “Knowledge puffeth up” (1 Cor. 8:1), that is a notional, theoretical, intellectual knowledge which is merely received from men or books in a natural way. But that spiritual knowledge which comes from God reveals to a man his empty conceits, his ignorance and worthlessness, and abases him. The teaching of the Spirit reveals our sinfulness and vileness, our lack of conformity to Christ, our unholiness; and makes a man little in his own eyes. Among those born of women was not a greater than John the Baptist: wondrous were the privileges granted him, abundant the light he was favored with. What effect had it on him? “He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose” (John 1:27). Who was granted such an insight into heavenly things as Paul! Did he herald himself as “The greatest Bible teacher of the age?” No. “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints” (Eph. 3:8). Here, then, is a sure test: how far does the teaching you have received humble you?

Third, that knowledge which the teaching of the Holy Spirit imparts is a world-despising knowledge. It makes a man have poor, low, mean thoughts of those things which his unregenerate fellows (and which he himself, formerly) so highly esteem. It opens his eyes to see the transitoriness and comparative worthlessness of earthly honors, riches and fame. It makes him perceive that all under the sun is but vanity and vexation of spirit. It brings him to realize that the world is a flatterer, a deceiver, a liar, and a murderer which has fatally deceived the hearts of millions. Where the Spirit reveals eternal things, temporal things are scorned. Those things which once were gain to him, he now counts as loss; yea, as dross and dung (Phil. 3:4–9). The teaching of the Spirit raises the heart high above this poor perishing world. Here is a sure test: does your knowledge of spiritual things cause you to hold temporal things with a light hand, and despise those baubles which others hunt so eagerly?

Fourth, the knowledge which the teaching of the Spirit imparts is a transforming knowledge. The light of God shows how far, far short we come of the standard Holy Writ reveals, and stirs us unto holy endeavors to lay aside every hindering weight, and run with patience the race set before us. The teaching of the Spirit causes us to “deny ungodliness and worldly lusts,” and to “live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:12). “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18). Here, then, is a sure test: how far does my knowledge of spiritual things influence my heart, govern my will, and regulate my life? Does increasing light lead to a more tender conscience, more Christlike character and conduct? If not, it is vain, worthless, and will only add to my condemnation.[2]

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Paul D. Meier M.D. et al., Introduction to Psychology and Counseling: Christian Perspectives and Applications, Second Edition. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1991), 210.

[2] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).