Tell-Tale Signs Denial Is Sabotaging Your Spiritual Growth

Denial simply ignores the facts. (Pixabay/Ben_Kerckx)

Measurement is an absolute key to your success of getting control over what is controlling you. Measurement has an incredible therapeutic value of self-honesty. Now not everyone wants to be honest with themselves. It was really hard for me to accept this fact. As a counselor, I had the misconception early on that everyone who came for help wanted help. That wasn't true at all. Some people just liked talking about getting help, not actually changing. I know that may sound crazy, but just ask any counselor or pastor and they will affirm this truth.

You see, when you are not measured, often you can fall prey to not being honest. I can hear some of you saying you can't measure what's on the inside.

That's not true at all. You can measure your insides by your behavior. Jesus said, "If you love me, you keep my commandments." If we love Jesus, we obey what he commands. If we don't obey him, then we don't perfectly love him and may love ourselves a little too much.

As we measure ourselves, we get not only the benefit of operating on fact and self-honesty, but we receive a third gift if we agree to be measured. That gift is the gift of knowing where we truly are in comparison to our stated goals.

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Measurement removes all vagueness to your objectives of getting control over whatever is controlling you.

Measurement allows you to avoid the sand traps of fantasy, denial or, worse, verbal reality. How many of us had parents or friends who smoked? Fantasy allows you to totally live unaware of the reality you are in. Many people live in fantasy about their health, wealth, relationships, how they grew up, their sexual past and parenting.

Denial is different. Denial is you really do know the truth. For example, you are overweight, compulsive, angry and afraid but you just plain pretend it's not true. "I'm not angry," while you are yelling at a child or spouse. Denial is when you know you don't have the money to pay the credit card, but you're spending like you can. Denial knows the status. It just ignores the facts.

Verbal reality means if you say it, it is true, and if you say it with feeling, it's really true. If a man tells his wife, "I love you," it's true, especially if he says it emotionally. Yet he won't work, is disrespectful and is at times physically abusive and runs around on her with other women. He doesn't love her: he is in verbal reality. He thinks because he says "I love you" that it is true, regardless of his behavior. Behavior is true, and it is not how you feel about it.

In reality, I know it can be hard, but when we are trying to get control over our lives, facts are our friends! They are measures of how we are doing. Facts are like those rails you drive your car into when you get your car washed. They keep you in the middle so the process can work.

Most of us don't mind being measured when we know we have been successful. In your life, there are probably several areas where measurement would be awesome. We humans are like that, we all have areas where we shine stunningly and, if measured, it would just affirm we have that area in our life under control.

Take a moment and think of a behavior or two that has gotten control over you in your life.

Now you may have more than three behaviors that are controlling your life. I understand that this may be true for many. I would, however, caution you not to try to work on many behaviors at once. Actually some people find it much more successful to really attack one behavior at a time. You decide what your approach should be for you to get control over what is controlling you.

Remember not to believe your wishes or emotions but only your behavior. Behavior can be measured, and you can be much more likely to be successful if you measure. Measurement is an essential part of getting control over what is controlling you.

Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books, including Get a Grip. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website,, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at

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