Have you ever been in the presence of someone, a stranger, and “sensed” evil? They didn’t do anything, didn’t say anything, but something was “off”.
And then that person speaks and what (or how) they speak confirms your intuition. What then? I must say that personally it invariably draws me in! I say this in the context (and it’s difficult to explain) that I start to feel hatred. They do not create pleasant emotions. I start to “wish” for God to strike them down. Culturally, the leader of North Korea is a great example of this, however this “hits home” as well. This could happen at a gas station, a store, at rehab, or yes, even at church.
I’ve thought maybe it’s just me, however, I have asked others and turns out that isn’t the case.
The reason I am writing about this today is that I often reflect back to statements made to me that are almost a revelation (or revealing – to dull it down). In a past rehabilitation setting, a young man and current friend in his twenties looked me in the eye and told me “real knows real”. He said this in a very matter of fact manner and it has stuck with me ever since.
During the active phase in our addictions, we probably are at most times unaware of this “evil” that I’m writing about, although when thinking back there were brief moments of clarity. Thank God for that, amen?
When their actions, or words, don’t necessarily even involve me, I become resentful. In the world of recovery, most know that resentment is dangerous at a minimum.
What do we do about it? For one, we stay away from those people! Simple right? In the 12 step world, we say to change our “people, places, and things”, but the people variable is present no matter what we do or where we go. This video is helpful in explaining some of what I’m talking about.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Says that “bad company corrupts good character”. Corrupts!! How so? By interfering, or bumping us out of our path towards righteous, or virtuous goals. In the case of addiction or disorders, it is especially important and we must not allow it.
So, “Run Forest, Run”? The Apostle Paul says in 15:34, essentially just that! Break off the “leg braces” that have been holding you back for so long and you will experience freedom.
Ezekiel 3:19 “But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.”
Romans 16:17“I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.”
What then if it’s less sinister? I have experienced family members and friends who don’t seem to be aware of the damage that they are causing by their words and actions. I’m not asking for enabling conduct from them, but I don’t need to feel less than or be criticised neither. I pray for them; along with patience, tolerance, acceptance, blah, blah, blah. No offense God, but my alcoholic tendencies require instant gratification. I am trying to do the best I can in my walk with the Lord, but should I run? Not exactly.
10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11 You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned. (Titus 3:10-11)
My father has always told me to “stick with the winners”. We know who they are (as my friend pointed out). Our Father has given us this ability. Let’s apply it and walk with Him today.
As always, thanks for reading and comments are welcomed.
Today’s verse to “chew on”:
15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.