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 “The Lord hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us. Where can we go (Dt 1:27-28 N.I.V, 1984)?

Discussion on Adler’s Safeguard Tendencies:  Withdrawal

Biblical Example

In Deuteronomy 1: 26-43 we are told of the exodus from Egypt and the promise of the land to the Jewish people. But there is a price. Much of the land is already inhabited and must be conquered. God promise to help in the conquest and in defeating the enemies of his chosen people yet many grow fearful and anxious and long to return to Egypt and captivity instead of fighting and receiving their promised territories. Still, other refused to fight altogether and ignore the commandment of God. The first case is an example of what Alfred Adler calls the withdrawal safeguard tendency of moving backwards, this tendency is used with an individual to cope with anxiety by longing or reverting back to a previous state in one’s life. The second tendency illustrated in the Biblical example of withdrawal is standing still or avoidance of responsibility.

So how would have the outcome have been differently should the Israelites not used these safeguards and obeyed God and faced their anxiety and fears?  In 1 Dt. 43 we are told the fled to the hills and the Amorites came out and  rose up and chased them and God did not help them as promised. We also are told for their failure to obey the Lord none of them of that Generation will enter the Promised Land. If they would have faced their fears God would have defeated their enemies and they would have entered Israel instead of being punished by God and not allowed to enter. How many of us recoil in anxiety or fear instead of trusting God and never receive the rewards he promises us?



Alfred’s Adler’s theories on personality are based on the premise that we can modify our destiny that although we may have struggles, face difficulties, and may suffer from illness we are either destined for success or superiority but must align our align our will to the common good of  society and Humankind. The Individual aligned with superiority tends to be selfish and suffers from anxiety and is off-balanced and neurotic. These individuals need compensate their mannerism to the good of mankind or else will fail. The success driven person is kind compassionate, caring and thinks of others and serves society. We all at around the age of 5 however depending on the amount of nurturing we receive our birth order and other factors establish a Goal for our life. This goal motivates our career choices, our relationships, and social role. WE however can establish minor goals along the way to make our life more enjoyable. Safeguard techniques are the way are mind deals with the anxieties we accumulate and are part conscience and unconscious.

In God, Christ and Spirit,


Trent Rindoks











New International Version Study Bible. (1984). Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publish House.







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