Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. (Colossians 1:21)
I remember the cold linoleum floor on my face. I had just been knocked down, slugged by a patient on the psychiatric unit where I worked. Screaming voices, profanity and rage came from every direction as staff attempted to calm the situation.
When I looked up, the patient who hit me was being restrained. As I stood and gained my composure, I vividly remember the patient’s face. Rage. The tormented enemy in his mind.
According to the apostle Paul, alienation from God creates an enemy of the mind. What is it and what does it mean?
As a psychologist, some enemies of the mind are easier to see than others. The horrible delusions and hallucinations of schizophrenia. The confusion and anger of severe dementia. An alcoholic delirium or methamphetamine psychosis.
But the line blurs when psychological conflict comes from the search for significance, purpose and being. The conflict between love and loss, identity verses ambiguity of self. Self-entitlement instead of humility. Rage eclipsed by grace. Belonging verse rejection. Justice overshadowed by unfairness.
The journey isn’t easy. Despite our best efforts we all fall short. We have good intentions and lofty ideals but we are our own worst enemies.
We all have fears, insecurities and jealousies. We are desperate for love but betray one another. We fight over resources (as basic as toilet paper) for fear of unmet needs. Self-indulgence overrides reason even when it harms both body and mind. Fits of rage, selfish ambition, envy and arguing. As Paul wrote, “We do the very evil we do not wish.” (Romans 7:19) An enemy Paul called “evil behavior.”
Unfortunately we can’t fix it with a pill. It is an enemy that can’t be defeated by psychology, philosophical enlightenment, political parties, Twitter debates or Facebook influencers.
It is an enemy with an insatiable appetite. It devours the self-help industry, motivational seminars and self-help gurus. An enemy who creates repeat customers searching for the next best seller and 10 guaranteed steps to self-esteem.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, David Zuccolotto