Unsafe People – Part Six

8> Unsafe people believe they are perfect instead of admitting their faults

Unsafe people are on a mission to prove that they are perfect. Using their work, family, abilities, or religion, they try to project an image of perfection, and their image becomes more important to them than the relationships they are in. If someone threatens their image, they will attack that person, for they must keep up their image at all costs.

Love, however, depends in part on our ability to own and share our faults. The one who is forgiven much, loves much (Luke 7:47). “Perfect” people cannot internalize grace, so they will not feel loved at a deep level. Therefore, as Jesus pointed out, they do not have a lot of love to give to others. All they have is their “perfection,” and that is pretty shallow and not very nourishing. In addition, relationships with perfect people are very hurtful, because they dodge any ‘badness’ that appears in the relationship. They will fight, blame and point fingers – anything that will put the badness onto the other person so that they can remain blameless.

9> Unsafe people blame others instead of taking responsibility

Safe people take responsibility for their lives. Unsafe people don’t. When we become aware of our problems and character issues, God holds us responsible for dealing with them and facing the tough changes that we need to make. Instead of doing this, however, unsafe people will often choose to blame other people, their past, God, sin, or anything else they can find. This tendency to blame others first appeared in Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:12-13), and we have continued it to this day. It is called externalizing our problems. In other words, we give the responsibility of whatever we are saddled with away to some outside agent. 

“I did it because I had to”

“I had no choice”

“I can’t change because my mother abandoned me when I was five”

“You are ruining my life”

God has it in for me”

And on and on…

If I walk out of my office today and get hit by a drunk driver, that will not be my fault. But it will be my responsibility to deal with the outcome. I am the one who has to go to the doctor and get surgery. I am the one who will have to grieve. And I will be the one who has to work through the anger and do the forgiving. Those things are all my responsibility, even though I did not choose to get hit by a drunk driver.

Unsafe people do not do that hard work. They stay angry, stuck, and bitter, sometimes for life. When they feel upset, they see others as the cause, and others as the ones who have to do all the changing. When they are abused, they hold on to it with a vengeance and spew hated for the rest of their lives. When they are hurt, they wear it like a badge. And worse of all, when they are wrong, they blame it on others,

Denial is the active process that someone uses to avoid responsibility. It is different from being unaware of sin. When we are unaware, we do not know about our sin. Denial is more active than that. It is a style and an agenda, and it can be very aggressive when truth comes close. People with a style of denial and blaming are definitely on the list of unsafe people to avoid.