- Blaming game: But, he... But, she... This happened... Pointing fingers... It's anybody's fault but your own that you are reacting this way... Actually, they may have shaken you up, but what spills out is your fault not theirs. You are responsible for what's inside you and thus what comes out of you.
- Excuses, excuses: I reacted that way because... I'm tired or I'm hungry or I feel... While feelings (in general) are God-given, they still need to be submitted to the Lord continually. If we let our feelings dictate our words and behavior, sin would be rampant and we'd be in intense bondage to them. We must 'man up', take accountability, and learn self-control.
- On the defense: Well, s/he does such-and-such... Oldest trick in the book. Probably because it often does what it is meant to do -- divert. Something happens, your sin is revealed, Oh-no cover it up quick! Get the attention off of me and my problem and my sin, diversion tactic -- basically says, "I may do this, but what about this thing that you do or that they do..." And you are off course now, going in a different direction on a rabbit trail. Attack, attack, attack.
- Confession and forgiveness: The right way of handling our sin when it pops up and is seen by others :) Once our sin becomes public, should we hide? Naturally, we want to to avoid the temporary pain, embarrassment, and awkwardness. But the result? Your sin remains, and you continue to live in bondage. BUT, the way the LORD shows us is altogether different! Instead of our three natural (and wrong) responses, we should confess to it -- Yes, I do have a problem and that is indeed wrong of me -- and, the kicker, ask for forgiveness from the person you hurt (and God).
But, there is a better way -- a way of healing. You see, the first three ways lead to anger and continued bondage. Confessing and asking for forgiveness actually lead to empowerment and freedom (it's exhilarating)! While it's a rarity to see and do, I am just now trying to make this more of a practice myself -- and, it is thrilling and addictive!