A Note from Pastor David - Elections and Projection
I believe that projection is one of the major problems of our age. Projection is basically attributing to others characteristics or behaviors which we tend to deny in ourselves. For example, I criticize someone’s poor health as coming from poor food choices while I enjoy another bowl of ice cream! Or consider the unfaithful spouse who believes their spouse is cheating on them. Then there is the untruthful person who accuses others of lying. Projection makes a victim of the person who is projected upon, it victimizes the one doing the projecting because they fail to acknowledge the need to change. Of course, it makes truth and reality its victims as well. As we find ourselves in the midst of an emotionally charged election season, let us watch out for projection. Let us be careful not to attribute solely to those with whom we disagree the traits and behaviors which actually exist in ourselves.
I recall Brené Brown saying that when we as parents are overly critical of another’s parenting style it is because we most likely are insecure about our own parenting. This strikes me as a close cousin of projection. What I am saying is that the attacks we make on those with whom we disagree basically are a direct result of the denial of our own weaknesses and of our deep sense of insecurity about ourselves.
How can we avoid such projection in these days? It is a big challenge for sure. It will require a great deal of self awareness and self discipline. Let us start by determining that we will publicly protect the reputation of those with whom we disagree. Let us be careful not to ascribe to them such base motivations as greed or racism. Let us also practice self examination. When we attribute bad motives or bad behaviors to others, let us look diligently for those motives and behaviors deep in our hearts. We can get through this season with our souls intact to the extent that we can minimize projection in this election! In Christ all things are possible.....