A BIG WORD AND A BIG WARNING
(Dr. Robin J. Starbuck)
There is a word that summarizes a major weak point or shortcoming among Christian believers who struggle to maintain their exalted focus: compartmentalization. They want to follow Jesus to the hilt owing to their unswerving love for Him. They learn how to detect feelings and behaviors that fail to honor their Lord and Savior but at a certain point their efforts are completed and they go back to their cares of the day. That’s when all the little bitty concerns, struggles, worries, preoccupations, wanderings, doubts, temptations, and all other forms of unbelief come rushing back in. And they (we) don’t even realize it. Each little concern has its own private compartment that it slips into just as neatly as you please.
I PERSONALLY AM NOT A FAN OF PSYCHOLOGICAL METHODOLOGIES AS AN ASSIST IN REGROUPING OUR ONENESS WITH ABBA (DADDY, GOD), but I’m including a good thorough look at this issue to drive home just how serious our neglect becomes when left entirely unattended:
“Compartmentalization is an unconscious psychological defense mechanism used to avoid cognitive dissonance, or the mental discomfort and anxiety caused by a person’s having conflicting values, cognitions, emotions, beliefs, etc. within themselves.
“Compartmentalization allows these conflicting ideas to co-exist by inhibiting direct or explicit acknowledgement and interaction between separate compartmentalized self states.
Psychoanalysis considers that whereas isolation separates thoughts from feeling, compartmentalization separates different (incompatible) cognitions from each other. As a secondary, intellectual defense, it may be linked to rationalization. Related also is the phenomenon of neurotic typing, whereby everything must be classified into mutually exclusive and watertight categories.
Otto Kernberg has used the term bridging interventions for the therapist’s attempts to straddle and contain contradictory and compartmentalized components of the patient’s mind.
“Compartmentalization may lead to hidden vulnerabilities in those who use it as a major defence mechanism.
Those suffering from borderline personality disorder will often divide people into all good versus all bad, to avoid the conflicts removing the compartments would inevitably bring, using denial or indifference to protect against any indications of contradictory evidence.
Using indifference towards a better viewpoint is a normal and common example of this. It can be caused by someone having used multiple compartment ideals and having been uncomfortable with modifying them, at risk of being found incorrect. This often causes double-standards, and bias.
Conflicting social identities may be dealt with by compartmentalizing them and dealing with each only in a context-dependent way.” TheFreeDictionary © Farlex, Inc. 2015. Version: 5.0.5 PRO.
If I have startled you, precious reader, and instilled a modicum of deep suspicion and concern here, then my work is finished! But I fear this is not the case.
Compartmentalizing our issues is the way of the human animal and is not an easy behavior to overcome. This is the time, however, to turn wholeheartedly to the full healing power of God. Human psychology is the antipode of divine psychology and must be dispensed with, with all due haste! In God, we trust the supernatural and it behooves us to recall that God functions on many realms much, much higher than our own so He is certainly capable of dealing with our mundane issues.
If you have relied on God innumerable times for guidance and healing – and found Him to be most present and faithful, as the author has – then you may have observed that some really remarkable and truly wonderful healings that we’ve experienced immediately start getting explained away by the unbelieving world which loves to tap into unwary compartmentalization on our part! Once this hideous detriment to an otherwise inescapable acknowledgement of God’s everpresence and love is found out, it can be rooted out and supplanted by the multi-dimensional, infinite, agape love of Jesus.