Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Coping Mechanisms


Behaviors, thoughts and emotions that we use to address the stresses and changes in life.

Coping Mechanisms


  • Romans 7: 21-25
  • John 18:4-11
  • Matthew 16:21-23
  • Luke 22:34-38
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
  • Matthew 26: 69 - 75
  • 1 John 3:2-3


  • Review
  • Seeking Wholeness
  • 12 Habits to Renew Your Mind
  • Coping Styles
    • Peter Cutting Off an Ear
    • Moving towards people - pleaser
    • Moving against people - rebel
    • Moving away from people - recluse
  • Dealing With Stress
  • Ineffective Coping Strategies
  • Coping mechanisms vs root issue
  • Healing
  • Renewing Your Mind

Has anyone heard of ‘Malchus’?

  • from the bible?
  • Peter cut his ear off

Romans 7: 21-25

21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.

22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,

23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.

24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?

25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

  • Has anyone ever felt like Paul here?



Seeking Wholeness

We are in our series called Seeking Wholeness

How can we be  _______ healthy

  • spiritually
  • emotionally
  • mentally

Dealing with life’s current stresses and also being healed from past experiences/wounds

God is not only concerned with you going to Heaven and being righteous...He wants you to be whole.

  • Righteousness, joy, and peace

Traits of Wholeness

  • Authenticity
  • Honesty
  • Kindness
  • Not seeking external approval / validation
  • Living by values and principles
  • Setting Boundaries
  • Knowing what is your responsibility and what isn’t
  • Living with purpose and passion
  • Optimism
  • Confidence
  • Healthy relationships with both genders
  • Not losing control of your emotions
  • Free from addictions
  • Addressing Conflict
  • Vulnerability
  • Not critical or Judgmental
  • Not jealous
  • Genuinely applaud the success of others
  • Forgive those who have wronged you in the past
  • Accept that God loves you as you are
  • Not afraid to fail
  • Able to manage irrational fear, worry, and anxiety
  • Selfless encounters with others
  • Not manipulating others trying to control their actions/reactions
  • Empathetic
  • You genuinely care about how others feel
  • Don’t ignore warning signs
  • In your life
  • In your relationships
  • Patient
  • Don’t give into peer/social pressure
  • Can communicate directly

12 Habits to Renew Your Mind

Stop Breaking Promises You Make to Yourself

This is often the core issue when people have trust issues

Practice of Gratitude

  • 2-5 things per day

Fellowship With Other Believers

Healthy relationships serve as a buffer against stress

  • Growth Group (Life Group, Cell Group, Small Group)
  • Men’s Group
  • Bible Study

Read Scripture

  • Primary way God talks to us

Memorize Scripture

5 smooth stones video

Quiet Time

Quiet time is a regular individual session of Christian spiritual activities, such as prayer, private meditation, contemplation, worship of God or study of the Bible.


A regularly attended time that you spend privately with God


  • Worship is Honoring God
  • Praise God as if it has been done

You praise to God based on His goodness not based on your circumstance

Sing a song that speaks to your situation

Sing a Christian song to help you through what you’re going through


  • It’s Building a Relationship
    • Listening
  • It’s Worship
  • It’s Okay to Petition
  • Prayer is Powerful

Structure for Prayer





Pray the word back to God


Gut sends signals for: food cravings, sexual arousal, mood, cause brain fog

90% of bodies serotonin is produced in the digestive tract

  • “Happiness hormone”
  • Bacteria play a role in producing it
  • Serotonin helps regulate your mood as well as your sleep, appetite, digestion, learning ability, and memory

Speak Positively

Don't use your mouth as a thermometer, reading the temperature of your current condition, allow God's word to turn your mouth into a thermostat, which changes the temperature of your life by confessing what God says.

Serve Others

Think about Eternity

Coping Styles

How People Cope With Stressful Situations

Coping strategies are the behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that you use to adjust to the changes in your life.


  • occurs in response to psychological stress
  • usually triggered by changes
  • to maintain mental health and emotional well-being

Life stressors

  • negative
  • the death of a loved one
  • loss of a job
  • divorce
  • Pandemic
  • Natural disasters
  • Positive
  • Marriage
  • Birth
  • Moving
  • A new job

Requiring the use of coping skills to adapt.

Peter Cutting off Ear

What are some things you know about Peter?

  • Walked on water
  • Denied Jesus 3 times
  • Chopped off a man's ear
  • Jesus’ inner circle: Peter, James, and John
  • Wrote two books of the Bible
  • Preached and saved 5,000

What do we know about his character?

  • Impetuous
  • Spontaneous
  • Emotional
  • Temperamental

John 18:4-11

4Jesus therefore, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, came out into the open and *said to them, “Whom are you seeking?” 5They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He *said to them, “I am He.” And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them. 6Now then, when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7He then asked them again, “Whom are you seeking?” And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.” 8Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He; so if you are seeking Me, let these men go on their way.” 9This took place so that the word which He spoke would be fulfilled: “Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.” 10Then Simon Peter, since he had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. 11So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, am I not to drink it?”

  • I AM

What could have happened after Peter chopped off Malchus’ ear?

  • It could’ve started a sword fight

What motivated Peter to attack Malchus?

Peter Didn’t Accept That Jesus Needed to Die

Matthew 16:21-23

21From that time Jesus began to point out to His disciples that it was necessary for Him to go to Jerusalem and to suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and to be killed, and to be raised up on the third day. 22And yet Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You!” 23But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s purposes, but men’s.”

  • Thy Kingdom Come
  • Jewish understanding of what the Messiah was

Peter was viewing the scenario from the perspective that he wants to prevent Jesus’ death

Peter was led by his emotions

Peter’s coping strategy was to fight

Jesus Instructions to Bring a Sword

Luke 22:34-38

34 And He said, “I say to you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.”

35 And He said to them, “When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?” They said, “No, nothing.”

36 And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.

37 “For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, ‘AND HE WAS NUMBERED WITH TRANSGRESSORS’; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment.”

38 They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”

  • Momentum vs instruction

7 Biggest Misfits of the Bible

Peter got saved. Then he cut some guy's ear off. And then he said the F-word in Aramaic and denied Christ three times even when he was warned beforehand what would happen.

Peter was fishing naked when Jesus returned, and put his clothes back on before he jumped into the water to swim to shore. After that, I think he re-committed his life to the Lord and teamed up with Paul to do evangelism.

Then Peter and Paul got in a fight.

Jesus could have built his church on John... Or Luke. Mark or Matthew or even Paul. But he chose the most temperamental, undependable apostle of the bunch.

… There’s hope for all of us.

Peter was not a “go with the flow” type of guy

  • I want to walk on water too
  • Oh you not gonna put your hands on Jesus
  • Oh no you not gonna go and die Jesus

Coping Styles

Some coping styles are more effective than others.

Example: throw a fit when you don’t get your way

3 Categories of Coping Mechanisms

  1. Moving towards people - pleaser
  2. Moving against people - rebel
  3. Moving away from people - recluse

These mechanisms are normal and everyone uses them to some degree.

  • The problem arises when someone over uses one of these coping strategies which indicates that person is neurotic.
  • Repeating unproductive coping strategies over and over again leads to a vicious cycle.

Moving towards people

  • Nice guys
  • Achievers
  • Fixers
  • White Knight
  • Joker
  • Pleaser


  • Craves affection and approval in a self-destructive way
  • Extremely sensitive to criticism and rejection
  • People pleasing
  • Non-confrontational


  • This leaves an open to exploitation and abuse
  • Covert contracts
  • Don’t address issues

Root Issue

  • anxiety
  • fear of being excluded
  • Fear of being alone

Avoiding Conflict

Childhood Source

Example: you’ll do this and you will like it

Move against people

  • Rebel
  • Bad boy
  • Taker


  • Neurotic need for power
  • Moving against others in order to gain control
  • They often need to compete, exploit, and defeat others in order to change the environment to their favor


  • Fear
  • helplessness
  • incompetence
  • worthlessness
  • violation

This fear forces their need for control, protection and achievement

Childhood Source

Example: busy dad

  • bad attention is better than none

Moving away from people

  • Recluse
  • Hermit
  • Loner


  • They have an extreme focus on self-preservation
  • Need for self-sufficiency and independence
  • Distance themselves from other people as a way to decrease the chances of being hurt

These are the typical loner types


Neurotic need for perfection


Fixer and Taker/Rebel

  • The fixer blames himself for things to go wrong in a relationship. The taker is used to blaming others.  
  • Fixers give without taking. Takers take without giving.  
  • Fixers feel like they don’t have a right to say what they feel. Takers feel entitled to say whatever they feel like whenever they want.
  • Fixers have too much of a conscience and are always thinking of other people in a relationship. Takers have no conscience and are always thinking of themselves.


1 Corinthians 13:4-7

4 Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant. 5 It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit; it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered, 6 it does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 it keeps every confidence, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Has anyone experienced this type of love?

Love shouldn’t

  • Be dangerous
  • Hurt
  • drama and trauma

Pain is a result of Brokenness

If there’s constant pain somebody isn’t whole.

Dealing With Stress

How do you guys deal with stressful or painful situations?

What are some ways people cope with stress, anxiety and hurt?

  • Have a drink
  • Social Media
  • Television
  • Pray
  • Go to sleep
  • Talking to friends
  • Crying
  • Get angry
    • Yell at people
  • Violence
  • Go for a run
  • Eat ice cream
  • Shop
  • Watch Pornography
  • Drugs / weed
  • Sex - call somebody over
  • Clubbing

Active vs Avoidant

Active coping strategies involve an awareness of the stressor,

  • followed by attempts to reduce the negative outcome

Avoidant coping is characterized by ignoring the issue,

  •  resulting in activities that aid in the denial of the problem


  • Rationalization
  • Self medicating

Coping Styles

Now that we've examined common styles of coping, let us take a look at specific coping strategies:

  • Humor
  • Pointing out the amusing aspects of the problem at hand, or "positive reframing,"
  • Seeking support. 
  • Asking for help, or finding emotional support from family members or friends
  • Problem-solving. 
  • problem solving aims to locate the source of the problem and determine solutions.
  • Relaxation. 
  • Engaging in relaxing activities, or practicing calming techniques, can help to manage stress and improve overall coping.
  • Physical recreation. 
  • Regular exercise, such as running, or team sports, is a good way to handle the stress of given situation. This may involve yoga, meditating, progressive muscle relaxation, among other techniques of relaxation.
  • Adjusting expectations. 
  • Anticipating various outcomes to scenarios in life may assist in preparing for the stress associated with any given change or event.
  • Denial. 
  • Avoidance of the issue altogether may lead to denying that a problem even exists.
  • Denial is usually maintained by distractions, such as excessive alcohol consumption, overworking, or sleeping more than usual.
  • Self-blame. 
  • Internalizing the issue, and blaming oneself (beyond just taking responsibility for one's actions),
  • leads to low-self esteem and sometimes depression.
  • Venting. 
  • Venting is the outward expression of emotions, usually in the company of friends or family. In moderation it can be healthy; however, ruminating on the negative can lead to strained relationships over time.


Venting vs problem solving

  • Many men want to problem solve
  • Whereas there mate only wanted to vent

Ineffective Coping Strategies

Ineffective coping mechanisms, also referred to as maladaptive coping, may also be applied to stressful events or internal conflict, often unconsciously. Maladaptive coping mechanisms are counterproductive.

Matthew 26: 69 - 75

69Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a slave woman came to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” 71 When he had gone out to the gateway, another slave woman saw him and *said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72And again he denied it, with an oath: “I do not know the man.” 73A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “You really are one of them as well, since even the way you talk gives you away.” 74 Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!” And immediately a rooster crowed. 75And Peter remembered the statement that Jesus had made: “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

  • Crying
  • Denying
  • Cursing

Self Medication

People who struggle with addictions often

  1. remain in denial
  2. don’t know how to cope with stress in a healthy way
  3. blaming themselves for a negative past experience

What are some ways people cope with stress and anxiety?

  • Have a drink
  • Get angry
    • Yell at people
    • Violence
  • Overeating
  • Shop
  • Watch Pornography
  • Drugs / weed
  • Sex - call somebody over
  • Clubbing
  • Gambling
  • Social media

Self Medication

People self medicate to ease the pain

Unresolved trauma develops coping mechanisms.  

  • You self medicate when you feel the pain.    
  • Most people they get drunk or high it’s not for the high.
    • not feel the trauma
  • Sex, porn, drinking, clubbing

Everyone has issues but it’s what you do about them that is dangerous.  

What would help?

Coping mechanisms vs root issue

We often want to address the coping mechanism without addressing the issue that it’s being used to cope with.

Root issues:

  • The Dependence Story
  • I can’t cope with being alone
  • The Unworthy/Defective Story
  • If people really knew me they would reject me
  • The Disconnection Story
  • No one understands me or cares about me
  • The Mistrust Story
  • Most people will use, hurt or take advantage me
  • The Failure Story
  • There’s no point in trying because I’m just going to fail
  • The Powerless/Victim Story
  • I don’t have control of the outcome
  • The man, the system, rich people
  • I’m at a disadvantage because I’m
  • Black
  • A woman
  • A foreigner
  • Have an accent
  • Overweight
  • Unattractive
  • I’m poor
  • I’m shy


Identify your coping mechanisms

Identify the root issues

Get rid of your image of the perfect self that you aren’t

  • Don’t let it be your identity

Identify your strengths

  1. Try to use them more

Strengthen your weak areas

  • People who are inclined to hide from others may want to develop social skills.
  • People who are inclined to dominate others for their own gain may want to develop compassion and humility.

Accept that Jesus loves you as you are

Signs That You’re Healing

Renewing Your Mind

It’s not about you trying to become a better version of you. It’s about a power greater changing you from the inside out.  


If you follow the law because you’re afraid of the consequences

  • I’ll lose my salvation
  • I’m not really saved
  • I won’t go to Heaven

Then that’s not repentance

That doesn’t come from will power

 None of us have the will power to become who we are supposed to be  

I’m a sinner -> try hard -> eventually Our will power fails -> we fail/fall -> shame ->

Example: Tom Brady

  • Is he a loser
  • Has he lost before
  • Will he lose again?
  • Has he won before
  • Will he win again?
  • Patrick Mahomes

Repentance means you think about the sin differently

Identity in Christ

Our Hope Changes Us

1 John 3:2-3

2Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is

3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

  • Our hope in Jesus purifies our lives
  • It changes the way we live today
  • Our faith is changing us

The key to really changing starts with your identity

I am a child of God -> the Spirit is in me-> depend on the spirit -> it builds my faith -> empowers the right actions -> brings me closer to God -> reinforces my root identity

Discipline and self-control are fruits of the spirit

God’s Spirit in you helps you choose what you want most over what you want now

Presenter: Michael Leadon


How Do You Cope? | Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior (

The gateway is trauma

Stephen Darby

Help I’m out of control – greater reward part 1


7 Biggest Misfits of the Bible

7 Biggest Misfits of the Bible | God Uses Misfits - Beliefnet

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