Criminals with this thinking error are good at pointing out others’ problems, giving feedback on the faults of others, but want you to mind your own business when it comes to your offering advice on their own issues. When everyone else is talking about personal subjects, they will typically hang back and not contribute, change the subject, give vague or evasive answers, or decide this is a good time to get up and leave.
They’re usually a little on edge in a group, because they don’t know when the attention might turn to them, and uncomfortable questions arise. They become touchy and defensive when people try to ask about their lives. They even clam up when asked for details about themselves that most people would share freely with anyone – like what kind of movies they like, or what they did or where they were last week. This tendency to keep things close to the chest may have started in childhood, when they got proficient at covering up family problems such as an alcoholic father or physical abuse, and it just became second nature by adulthood.
Such a person also lies by omission; they don’t give you the full story. For example, they might defend themselves by saying, “I didn't lie. I said I wasn't at work on Friday. I just didn't tell you I was fired for being late again.” Or you might hear, “That’s stupid. You don’t know what you’re talking about.“ But they decline to give you the rest of the information you need to make an informed judgment about a situation.
Such people are usually also emotionally closed off, and don’t allow themselves to be affected by your needs or desires. If fact, they may be downright cold and unfeeling. They can be emotionally abusive, manipulative, controlling, and passive-aggressive.
Erecting a protective shell about themselves, and keeping their personal plans private, are elements of the secretive nature of a criminal. If you simply accept it as an integral part of their personality, it gives them the freedom to do as they wish without argument.
One spiritual issue with this character trait is that they may also have closed themselves off from God and the saving grace of Jesus Christ. They are unable to allow themselves to be transparent with God about their sins, or draw close to Him. They have never experienced “the peace that passes all understanding.” Scripture doesn’t comfort them, and your prayers bore them. But they know something is missing.
Did you ever wonder why no one had run out to the field to give the owner’s son the exciting news about his younger brother and the party? Perhaps he had distanced himself from other people, rebuffed their efforts to be friendly, and they had learned it was best to just leave him alone unless absolutely necessary.
How can we get closer to God?
Continue to Chapter 18