The pigpen of projection

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By Dave Henning / October 30, 2014

Kyle Idleman begins Chapter 7 (“Projection- It’s Not My Fault, So It’s Not My Responsibility”) of AHA with the statement that our society has mastered the art of blaming others for our foolish choices.  Hence these actual product warnings:

1.  “Caution: Coffee May Be Hot”

2.  “Warning: Remove infant before folding stroller for storage.”

3.  Warning on chainsaw: “Do not attempt to stop chain with hands.”

Rather than being brutally honest with ourselves, Pastor Idleman asserts that most of us want to blame others for our foolish choices.  That’s called projection.  The author then contrasts denial and projection:

“Denial is refusing to admit the reality of an unpleasant fact, but projection is admitting that the reality exists without taking responsibility for it.”

As Pastor Idleman studied the Parable of the Prodigal Son, he was struck by all the different people the younger son could have blamed, but didn’t, for the position in which he found himself.  He could have blamed his friends for helping him spend his inheritance or pointed the finger at his seemingly permissive and passive father.

By not doing so, the younger son avoided being stuck in the pigpen of projection.  While projection is much easier that brutal honesty, it doesn’t get us out of the pigpen.  Finally, the younger son could have blamed God.  As the author concludes, God rarely gets the credit during good times, but often gets the blame for tough times.

Today’s question (from Kyle): Who or what do you tend to blame when you find yourself in the pigpen of projection?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Minimization”

About the author

    Dave Henning


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