31 10 2009

If you ever wondered how not to help people, here’s how:

This is one of the funniest sketches I’ve ever seen, but it’s doubly funny for me because I’m a counselor.  And triple-y funny because I’m a Christian.  Isn’t this how we very often treat ourselves and one another?
Friend: “I’ve been struggling with such and such a sin… what should I do?”
Me: “Stop it, of course.”
Of course, such a strategy looks ridiculous when it’s put out there so clearly. But that’s the point isn’t it? We think this way; we live this way; but it’s not until it’s articulated so clearly that we realize how ridiculous it is.
I’m reminded of the quote C.S. Lewis puts at the beginning of his, “The Screwtape Letters”: “The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.” (Luther)
This is, after all, Satan’s strategy for keeping us from submitting to the gospel of Jesus Christ, is it not? To keep us believing, unbeknownst even to ourselves, that we can just try a little harder and eventually we’ll ‘get there’, be the kinds of people we know we should be. “Just stop it!” we tell ourselves.
Maybe the funniest – and definitely the most triumphant – part of the above video is at 5:05 (and following) where the woman finally stands up for herself. I love it!
If only we would finally get tired of the little whip-cracker inside ourselves and refuse to listen to that voice any longer! I think Henry David Thoreau was onto something when he said, “If I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior.” (Walden, p. 10) We spend most of our lives worrying about our sin, but, at least in my case, it is my self-righteous compulsion to self-improvement (which, by the way, IS sin) that really keeps me away from Jesus.



3 responses

31 10 2009
Jessie Aja

this is, indeed, darkly hilarious.

5 11 2009


I love it. I have seen myself many times do thus to myself and to others. It is a ploy of the enemy. Similar to your thoughts from Srewtape, I hav been thinking lately that Satan’s lone goal is to put distance beteen us and God. He doesn’t care how he gets it done: pride, self-richeousness, and pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps is just as good as despair, self-pity, and disengaging. So long as we live life as I we are alone. He is satisfied.

The ironic question, however, is what is the solution to trying to make yourself a better person? Can I try really hard at not believing that I need to try hard? This is, I think, the core of what God istryin to teach me now, alhough it remains a process.

I think the “stop it” mentality also puts distance between us as brothers and sisters under Christ. If I believe people need to try hard to be better people, I will distance myself from people whose problems are beyond their own power to solve. I don’t want their junk on top of my own. The lonliness will grow om itself, all of us will be wihdrawing from one another for cause of the stench of imperfection we all eminate. And Satan will laugh at all the lonely people who are only alone in their mind.

If, however, we are grounded on what Jesus can do, if we believe in the power of the blood and humbly accept His timing, then neither my problems or the problems o those around me will overwhelm. It is hard to be his humble, but thankfully it is also the work of Jesus, and not my own effort, that will get me there.

5 07 2010
Doing Accountability Part III: A Confusion

[…] into the idolatry of the will that says all we need to do to get past our addictions is “Stop It!” Jesus seemed to respond pretty strongly to the Pharisees when he saw this attitude of […]

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