The Enemy Within

The Enemy Within: the adversarial relationship that exists within  

 We have met the enemy and he is us.  Walt Kelly

 I destroy my enemy when I make him my friend.   Abraham Lincoln

Man has not a greater enemy than himself.  Petrarch

 

Our greatest enemy is the enemy within. It is a worthy adversary and deserves our committed and best efforts to defeat or subdue him (her). It should be befriended and trained to become our friend instead of our enemy. It is very powerful; ever present and always engaged, even as we sleep. To ignore this gives it victory and enslaves us as its servant. It is much better for us to become friends than to remain enemies.

    Each of us is our own cast of characters. On the inside there is a good and bad inner self; on the outside there is a conscious self that has both good and bad sides.  Our outer self is usually dominated or controlled by our inner self. If the good inner self is in charge, we will do the good and desirable. Our bad self is geared toward things that are not so good, doing what is undesirable; the things that our good inner self regrets afterwards. Our different characters must find a way to work together, co-existing in harmony and peace if we are ever to become our best. It is often portrayed as an angel and a devil, sitting on someone’s shoulder, advising them of what they should do. The angel recommends a good course of action, and the devil recommends the opposite. They pull us in both directions. This is an appropriate analogy of what it is often like. In some cases this conflict is like the characters Jekyll and Hyde. Resolving inner conflicts demands our best effort and is critical to balance and well being. Mostly we do have good intentions to do the good and desirable, but do not always follow through as we intend. Our will power is just not as strong as it needs to be.   

    Our inner conflicts are never ending battles. We will always be working on self-issues. We must teach and train ourselves, establish and then stand by our principles and values. We must hold ourselves accountable, choosing the high road and committed to personal growth. It is minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day. It is making many good conscious choices, choosing the right things. Our good self must control our not so-good self. It is perhaps the highest priority that we can have. It is a life-long quest if we are to become our best.     

Challenge:  How much do you listen to your good conscience? It should caution you about bad choices. It should be recognized as your friend and ally. Be glad you have it. It represents the good within. It encourages you to choose the right and proper thing even when it is not easy and convenient. Doing the right thing is often very difficult. Make every effort to always choose to do the right thing. Always hold yourself accountable

Wisdom: Our only enemies are those inside ourselves. They are our weaknesses and vices, our lower passions and intellectual deformities. It is better to fight them than other men.  Paul Brunton

Spiritual: (NIV)

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.  Titus 2:11-12 

Those that belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, an all these things will be given to you as well. Matt 6:33

The Bible tells us that we are made in God’s own image. We have a little bit of him within our very nature. We have freedom of choice to align with the ways of the world or to listen to his advice and counsel. Worldly ways will ultimately lead us down the wrong road and destroy us. If we will listen to God and allow him to guide and direct us, he enables and helps us to become the righteous person we were intended to be.

Prayer:  Help me to let go and let you. May I walk with you more and more every day? Help me to listen!

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