Projection

<<transfer of feelings>>

This normally refers to a person unconsciously transferring his or her negative feelings and moods, through words and actions onto another – it is passing on what is within (Lk 6:45). If we are angry at something, we might subconsciously raise our voice at another even if it isn’t anything to do with that person. Instead of owning and dealing with the offensive issues that are upsetting us because we are not receiving attention, we transfer the ‘bad vibes’ onto innocent onlookers in a form of blame shifting or excuse ourselves by saying we’re having ‘a bad day’.

Jesus said this undesirable behaviour stems from looking for the small blemish in another’s life while ignoring the glaring problem in our own life (Mt 7:3-5). We fail to see the good in others because we are too busy examining their flaws and do not address our own issues which are our responsibility. Unless we face our feelings and moods, they will cause relational problems with those around us.

Our feelings towards others are largely determined by our feelings towards ourselves; if we are not comfortable within ourselves, we can’t be comfortable with others. Projection also assumes others share the same or similar thoughts, beliefs, values or positions on any given subject.

However, just as we can project negative emotional vibes we can also bring the uplifting presence of Christ into our situations and ‘share’ Him. As

Whose Kingdom values am I projecting?

Christ’s representatives we are to radiate the pleasant “aroma of Christ” not the stench of Satan (2 Cor 2:14-16). Jesus said we are lights in the world – reflections of Him who is the light of the world (Mt 5:14-16; Jn 8:12, 9:5, 12:46). It is now our responsibility “to walk as He walked” in vital relationship with God and outworking the fruit of the divine life (Gal 5:22-25; Eph 5:2; 1 Jn 2:6).

The thoughts and feelings that we express depend on who is controlling us – Christ (if walking in the Spirit) or the old nature whose leader is Satan (if living in the flesh). We must quickly deal with the issues of life that crop up so our attitudes are healthy and we communicate encouragement, love and life (qualities of Christ) not criticism, bitterness and death (characteristics of Satan) to those around us. As Christians we are to live by the opposite spirit to that which typifies the sinful world.

We must be careful not to project our opinions onto others in directive praying or in prophecy.

See also: attitudes, emotions, feelings, moods, opposite spirit, vibes.


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