Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Conflict Within

The Conflict Within

I am writing about our personal conflicts — when we are at war within ourselves, that is, our own inner feelings and desires

We may have conflicts ‘without’, that is, in the realm of relationships, the environment and society. It is not always easy to hold fast to ideals, or Christian values and principles, whether at work, within society, or the home. In this realm we may face a struggle for significance and to have control over our circumstances. This we can cope with if we are whole within. But how many people are that blessed, especially in today’s society which, to some extent, lacks family values and community adhesion?

We are all born with certain needs — food, love, self-esteem, security. Often greed takes over because we lack discipline or through failure to have our basic needs supplied. Self-indulgence — the result of the environment in which we are nurtured? And blessed indeed are those who do not have the need to be forever seeking sexual-fulfilment but rather find contentment with a lifetime partner. Especially in a society of ‘must have’ ‘will have’ never mind the consequences.

Many people are ready to blame the Devil, whatever that means to each of us.
A dimension in life that appears hidden of which we seem to have little or no control? A power that is anti-love, anti-life, anti-Christ. — EVIL?

I would suggest that the devil has become a scapegoat for much of the evil that originates in man — an entail of evil — that which Jesus said came out of the heart of man and which defile him — wicked thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, perjury, slander. It is easier to deny that which is within ourselves and project it on to others, or on to a devil. It is not easy to confront and deal with our own failings. What we really speak of is that which struggles against what we know to be good, true and holy. This is the darker part of the shadow side of our personality, and of the human race. A side which shows itself repeatedly in history, dark deeds often done in the name of God or for the ‘better good’ of mankind.

How easy it is to refuse to face our shadow and to point a finger at others or blame a devil for man’s failings.

Christians believe that their Lord came to earth as an ordinary man. He had the same temptations as all men. He was born as a child with the same desires, feelings, conflicts common to humanity. And this surely was his purpose — to redeem the shadow within man and to let in God’s light. To set free inspiration and creativity and the love, peace and joy of a life lived in relationship with God and his fellow man. Whatever faith we live by (or none at all), there is value in examining ourselves — our motives — and determine to live for others as well as ourselves. As many people have found — it is in giving that we receive.

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1 comment:

Payton L. Inkletter said...

Thank you Gladys for sharing this reflection upon a crucial factor of the human condition.

I'm of the opinion that sincere and humble folk of faith have a head start and then some in their quest to have the spiritual economy illuminate their inner world, gradually crowding out the shadows from that brush common to us all.

Repeated asking for help, as an inner conversation with God's spirit within, as we go about our ordinary daily lives, gives permission for the Absolute Gentleman to pour in the help we so desperately need, and every time we choose the better, we are blessed with another divine invasion of our souls.

Thus drop by drop this free but-for-the-asking elixir from the sparkling shores of divine infinity infuses into our thirsting souls.

The best kept religious secret: ask for good things, the things God wants us to have - the fruits of the Spirit - ask until the cows come home, and then keep asking; in fact, never stop asking.