Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth
The last week has been difficult for me. I've had some really tough days and been very low. When you've been going well for a while it's a bit of shock to the system to suddenly be in "that place" again.
|shattered.art66 under CC license|
It's easy to beat yourself up and just heap more blame and negative thinking onto yourself. You get angry, you lash out at those around you. You cry. Or don't. Sometime the feelings choke you and the heaviness just sits there, with very little release through tears. Things are thrown, doors are slammed and you start to wonder how you ever deluded yourself that things were getting better.
I doubt anyone who reads the above is going to think I'm "delighting in evil." I wrote a post on my personal Facebook page about the celebration of death following the executions in Indonesia. That is a better example of taking delight in evil.
However I think we can develop a certain "addiction" to suffering. This is a generalised statement and should not to be twisted to blame others for their suffering. Have a read of the book of Job one time and you'll see how God feels about that (spoilers: it's not viewed kindly).
But we can almost enjoy dwelling in our suffering. In my post about idolatry I talked about how we typically get something out of the idol, hence why we continue to be loyal to something/one that is harmful.
Recovery is not a straightforward process and it's not uncommon to go through a continuous, near-maddening process of two steps forward, one step back.
But where does that step back lead?
To the lies.
To the hurt and the pain part of us longs to cling to.
And the alternative?
The truth. Jesus. Love. Grace. Forgiveness.
But to get there we need to surrender and submit ourselves to God. And all of a sudden the lie so much sweeter, so much easier. But, and please trust me on this one, it is far better to submit yourself to God.
In situations of distress and temptation for Christians other believers often quote James 4: 7: "resist the devil and he will flee from you." This is truth we can rejoice in, "take heart! For I have overcome the world." (John 16: 33)
But sometimes we forget, or omit, the first part of that verse: "Submit yourself to God."
|Adapted from original by Martin LaBar under CC license|
So, this becomes a three step event:
1. Submit yourself to God
2. Resist the Devil
3. And he will flee from you
And as I have written on a note beside my bed:
My lesson for this week? Pain can be addictive. Like any 'drug' it is evil but we take a sort of twisted delight in it. But love says to rejoice in the truth. And the truth is is that I am loved, I am forgiven, and that Jesus is greater than my heart, than my feelings. And I can stay here in the mirey clay, in "that place" and He will still love me. Praise God.