Dreamers of the Day

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible." -T.E. Lawrence, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom"

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Love Your Enemies III

My greatest enemy is myself…

It is I who embarrasses my-self the most. It is I who is the hardest to forgive, or never to forgive at all. It is I who is the worse person to live with. Knowing my own depravity, my own inadequacies and inabilities are far too great to handle. I would much rather be with someone else and talk with them, fellowship with them, than live with myself. I am not talking about being alone materially (externally). I can be in a crowded room and still feel alone. I am talking about accepting the truth about oneself. I am the hardest person to live with. Because of my brokenness and depravity, I reject myself through the accumulation of things and addiction to things.


Addictions are an excellent revelation of this point. Christians are told to never smoke pot, drink alcohol or look at pornography. Each is plausible because our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and it is to be pure as our Heavenly Father is pure. But the Christian determines what is pure, not the God of himself. Christians will speak out and be adamant against addictions of pot, alcohol and sex, only to revert to their pot of coffee or soda-pop endlessly. The “good” Christian can be addicted to theological books, study of the Bible and the memorization of God’s word and not realize it is the process or practice that they love, not the God of the words. The “good” Christian cannot stop watching football, eating good meals, but considers himself as “pure” because he is not a homosexual, a drunkard or divorced. The Christian switches addictions materially because he wants to be changed, materially. Culture, practice and others tell him the Christian is to be different materially, so he focuses on the material forgetting the material is moved by the immaterial. The Christian becomes his greatest enemy because he cannot love his closest neighbor—himself.

The Christian soon discovers that is it “himself” that is the hardest person to love apart from Christ. It is difficult to comprehend this in a society that is completely selfish. The self-help books and individuality of this culture reeks of self-centeredness in which “I” am the greatest being that has lived. “I” is worship and defended to no end so that it may never taste death. Why is that? The world, as well as the modern Christian, consumes life with “me” in an arduous journey to find confidence. Overspending, overeating, over-working-out and plastic surgery do not exist because we love ourselves. It is because we cannot love ourselves to begin with. Addictions do not begin with lack of discipline. Addictions begin with the absence of receiving love. The love could be there, but the addict cannot receive it. The addict does not want to receive it even-though it is the very thing that will save them.

This “Self Enemy” is evident in my external life as well. In pondering my “greatest external enemies” past, present and future, it was difficult to find a common thread. Some enemies were and are down-right mean. They did or do not like me and put me down constantly. Words were the sharpest weapon to use and my “greatest external enemy” knew and knows how to use them frequently. Yet, there was even a deeper difference between a plain enemy and a great enemy. The hair on the back of my neck would, and still does, rise at the presence of a great enemy, not a plain enemy. The presence of the person evokes emotion, bitterness and anger. This presence reveals something greater that is happening than just mere words, actions or external “things.” It is deeper in me. My “greatest external enemies” were and are people who have the same “thorn” in their side as I. My “greatest external enemies” expressed the same depravity as did or do I and I hated seeing it. My “greatest external enemies” reflects my depravity in the brightest way, and because I am at war with myself, I cannot stand it. I must fight back and so I create an enemy outside of myself…

21 Comments:

At 6:57 AM, Blogger Creth said...

hopefully everyone understands what it means to be in a crowded room, a room of true friends, and yet completely alone

(this is our friendship statement-oh my gosh, you too?)

I love what you have to say about addictions, so true- the whole dirty mess, true!

(the moral scale that I weigh so often, the "religious" addictions that cloud my vision of The Good God...)

so... how do we... I mean, I feel even more selfish asking this but (in the words of the lyric) "have we forgot how to love ourselves?"

how do we, in the light of heaven, love ourselves?

 
At 7:23 AM, Blogger Emily said...

Thanks for the advice, but I haven't been feeling comfortable with the 'personal' stuff lately.

It feels like publishing my private journal for the world to see-- which is like this nightmare I used to have as a kid where I'd get to school and realize I'd forgotten to wear my skirt.

The best I have to offer right now is a metaphor or two.

 
At 8:04 AM, Blogger Creth said...

metaphors, analogies and models are very satisfactory

 
At 8:13 AM, Blogger Jen said...

Your thoughts on addictions...so very true, especially in my own life.

While we do have to honest about who we truly are, there is a danger in focusing on that too much. Not that we ignore our sin or paint ourselves externally with the brush of being a “good Christian” without struggles, but we are also children of God. We are heirs with Christ and we have the spirit of Christ in us. Like everything in life, there is a fine balance. I don’t think you were saying this, but for me it is a good reminder. That is why I love Paul b/c he seems to know exactly where he is (“what a wretched sinner am I”) but also have the confidence of who he IS in CHRIST! And he lived it daily…

 
At 8:21 AM, Blogger Creth said...

true statement, Jen

fine balance indeed

 
At 12:21 PM, Blogger Trey said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12:24 PM, Blogger Trey said...

(I removed my previous post...it had about 6 grammatical errors. Ask Christian: I've been having problems with that lately.)

These are all tasty thoughts to chew on. It's always a struggle for me to both 1) come to terms with my humanity, and 2) feel okay enough to actually be used by God. If I'm focusing only on one or the other, I can usually make do okay. However, around the time I'm being most honest with myself about my fallen-ness, those feelings of inadequacy often stifle my longing to be God's instrument. At that moment, I end up feeling like there's probably a better instrument out there instead of me, leaving me to wait for a "better time." And, of course, such insecurity is not something from God, but it can be such a powerful force against taking action. After all, no one wants to screw up anything God's working on. ;)

On a unrelated note, Jason, Christian say you're currently in a sickly way. Please rest up; I hope you feel better!

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger Jen said...

Thinking of you too! Love you!

 
At 10:54 PM, Blogger Rose DesRochers said...

Jason you have a lot of interesting things to say. I believe that we can be our own worst enemy. I’m glad that I came across your blog tonight.

Rose DesRochers

 
At 5:42 AM, Blogger Jen said...

TWO MORE WEEKS!!!!!!

 
At 8:21 AM, Blogger Emily said...

Who is Rose?

She commented on my blog too ('mental paper jams...')

 
At 10:15 AM, Blogger Jen said...

(not to echo but...)

Happy Valentine's Day Jason!

Have a hot date tonight??

:)

 
At 8:49 AM, Blogger Creth said...

explain your name on your sister's blog.

 
At 8:52 AM, Blogger Micah & Brad said...

So did you have a hot date with Rose on V-day? ;o). Are you going home this weekend! Man, I'm jealous! I've been trying to get Brad to take a day off so we can go up, but nothing yet... I miss my Mommy!!!!

 
At 8:20 AM, Blogger Micah & Brad said...

Wow that sounds like fun!! You guys will have a BLAST!!! Everyone needs a break once spring rolls around! Don't get too sunburned!

 
At 8:43 AM, Blogger Jen said...

Where are you at? Where is your internal journey taking you?

he he ;)

 
At 7:09 AM, Blogger Micah & Brad said...

Okay, Jason, really. I haven't even been this long without posting! I'm surprised Creth isn't on your back! You know he takes people off of his "friends" list that haven't posted in a while!!! :o)

 
At 1:33 PM, Blogger christian said...

Yeah, where you be?

 
At 3:27 PM, Anonymous David Hand said...

what about the smurfs?

 
At 5:50 AM, Blogger christian said...

Quit playing with virtuaguy and get back to blogging.

 
At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Rose said...

Rose is just someone who came across your blog. Do I need to know you to comment on your blog?

 

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