What is projection? Projection is when we take a behavior and transfer it over to another situation. There are several applications to projection. For instance, if we have a low self image because of our weight, height, or intellect, etc., we might find someone we deem inferior to us and then put them down in an effort to make ourselves feel better. While this may sound like a negative way to boost self image, people do it every day. Gossip is a form of putting others down. How does bullying start? Because one person feels inferior to another for some reason. Perhaps they were made fun of by their peers, siblings, or sadly, their parents. Instead of being the victim, they later victimize others.
Another form of projection is to think that others should take up the same causes that you have. If you’re all for sheep eating green grass, then everyone else should be, right? If you believe that the version of Bible you read or your church is the right one, then everyone else should also, right? That’s a projection of arrogance and superiority. That line of thinking says that you are the only one who thinks correctly and promotes you as perfect. Others perceive you to be haughty and overbearing and you don’t understand why they don’t see things your way. Sound familiar? I’ve been there before. On some issues, I still am, but I try to be open-minded, while still staying grounded in the Word, led by the Holy Spirit. That is the crux of life as a Christian. It is who Jesus Christ left us, the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. But are we truly listening? Are we being guided? Did we hear the Holy Spirit tell us to argue with others? Let’s see, the Holy Spirit’s character is to comfort, to bring forth truth, to establish peace. No, I don’t think the Holy Spirit ever told me to argue with a friend or family member.
Then one of the ways projection hurts Christianity the most is by those who project their own mindset, their own thoughts, or the actions of others towards them on God and on Christians in general. Because, somewhere, someone professing to be a Christian hurt them and they decided ‘how could Christianity be real? How could God be real? How could God love me if I have these thoughts? How can I trust another ‘Christian?’ How can I trust another church?’ Well, here’s my answer, 1. God did NOT cause any bad things to happen to you! He didn’t give you or anyone else bad thoughts! God is LOVE! He Loved you so much, and everyone else in this world, that he gave up his own son to die and brought him back to life. You may say, ‘Well he knew he was going to bring him back.’ Oh? Why? Because he’s God? So then you Do Believe in God? Because everything within us cries out for our creator and if we nearly die, we cry out to him. Don’t let a near death experience test you to find out. Get off the fence and follow his Son, who was a perfect example of a human being and perfect love. 2. Mankind will fail. There’s not a single person out there who’s not going to disappoint you at some point. There are few, very few Christians who lead a life sold out completely to follow Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to lead them. Everyone has a weakness they won’t relinquish control over. 3. As far as thinking others think like you, there are some people who are not out to hurt you and who have very pure motives. If you’re tuned into the Holy Spirit, you’ll know which ones are pure and who to avoid.
There’s another area of projection I’ve seen Christians do in their walk, that thwarts their spiritual growth. Some Christians may think another believer has more spiritual knowledge than they do, so they belittle the one they deem beyond them. Or perhaps they’re afraid to move forward with God, to take the next step, so they criticize everything another believer says or believes, putting down their church or doctrine.
Jesus wasn’t looking for a set of rules, he came to free us from the law! He wasn’t here to participate in sacraments, traditions or even a church, nor a building, he was looking for true worshippers, whose lives were lived by example, those who would follow him. He wanted those who were led by the Holy Spirit, doing the Father’s will. His “church” was/is not bound by walls, or certain days. If we project anything as Christians, May it be the love of Jesus Christ, faithfulness, gentleness, self- control, grace, compassion, patience, peace, comfort, and joy.
John 4:23-24 But the time is coming-indeed it’s here now-when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
Hebrews 8:1-2 Here is the main point: We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. There he ministers in the heavenly Tabernacle, the true place of worship that was built by the Lord and not by human hands.