Conquering the Enemy Within

Posted on May 5, 2013 by

Some food for contemplation on this, the Lord’s Day, inspired by the sermon we heard at church:

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

4 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet[a] you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and[b] adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 3:13-4:4

I wondered how often I consider our my own ways as I moan and lament the current state of the world in which we live. This was an excellent reminder to start with the woman in the mirror.

Before any of us can even begin to change the world into something more beautiful, we must conquer our greatest enemy: the enemy within. We need a heart that loves God’s law for its own sake where all too often we simply believe the world will be better if we can force everyone to adhere to the rules. To borrow from my friend Morticia:

The problem with being a rabid Rule enforcer is that it ignores the frailty of the human condition and replaces compassion with formulaic thinking.

Formulas minimize societal damage, but they don’t heal the wounded souls of individuals.  Souls need healing, and sometimes that won’t come in this life.  Maybe all we can do is try our best to give people a little slice of the light of heaven, so that when they are presented with the real thing they won’t run for the comfort of hell.

That is all.

Posted in: Religion