As Christians we've all learned in one way or another how to act. We all try to build a lifestyle that looks pleasing to God (and others), or so we should be. But, I think we often get caught up in what our walk looks like and we fail to see the slow but steady corruption of our internal dialogue with self. This internal dialogue with self creates a mess if you let it; false perception, distorted views, poor self esteem, nagging negative thoughts, depression, jealousy, anger, hurt ... just to name a few.
Once you let yourself indulge in this sick mind-hell (that's what it is), you've let the devil win. It might be a small battle to lose in the beginning, but if you don't deal with it, it soon becomes a part of who you are. I know it well, I've been there and because of Jesus I no longer own property in 'mind-hell'. When the devil tries to sell it back to me I simply say, "God, take this thought from me." And He does. I'm a very analytical person with a little OCD and this combo can be torture in my head. But just like an addict, I can't even taste it or I'll be right back there in 'mind-hell'.
When we deal with issues and get through them, we become the 'expert' at spotting them in others. Whether it's depression, abuse, codependency, or addiction ... we can see it a mile away. It's been years since I've even visited this place, but something I'm just now learning - that I've seen in my own son is when we take up residence in that place, we start framing things with negative thoughts. My son said to me a few days ago, "I might not have a family when I grow up because of my learning." REALLY? Did the devil just do what I think he did? To my son? I know he didn't!
I think as parents, we all feel like we can protect our children physically, but how do we protect them in their minds? It's hard! So unfortunately, I've had this conversation with my 12 year old son;
In our minds, we think things that aren't true. If we start to believe this junk that the devil puts there, we start feeling bad about ourselves, and we feel like we can't make it stop. We start thinking people don't like us and they're better than us. The devil tries to get you alone in your thoughts. Don't let him do it, bring it all out into the light! Ask God to take these thoughts away and give you good ones. Replace the bad with good. Don't let anybody steal your joy! Pray and read the Word so you are armed!
When we know better, we do better.