Before this disease:
“There was no struggle with identity, anxiety, depression, or addiction. There was no painful personal history to overcome. There was no fear of what might happen next, no mixed motives, no struggle with inordinate desire.” (Tripp 2)
It twists everything:
“[It] grips our hearts [and] makes everything more difficult. It morphs love into selfish lust. It takes the God-ordained safety of home and makes it a place where the deepest human hurts can occur.” (6)
It is escapable “because it dwells within you.” (6)
It is a fundamental problem:
“[We] had it long before [our] first experience. Something is wrong with [our] inner [selves] that fundamentally affects the way [we] operate as a human being[s].” (10)
It is the worst:
“[It] is the ultimate disease, the grand psychosis… It distorts our identity, alters our perspective, derails our behavior, and kidnaps our hope.” (12)
It is confounding. We are “inexplicably drawn to what [is] clearly forbidden.” (13)
We can’t even stand up:
“Our moral muscles have been atrophied by [it].” (16)
It has “power, authority, [and] constraint” over us (Lundgaard, Kindle location 157).
It is “enticing, threatening, even bullying” (169).
We are “subdued by its strength and madness” (177).
The uncured “cannot measure the force of the current, because they have surrendered themselves to it” (182-183).
We forget it is there:
“How often do you think about the fact that you carry around in you a deadly companion?” (276-277)
It requires no outside nourishment:
“It needs no help from the outside.” (284)
It is scary:
“You have a haunted house within you: your heart.” (324)
It is deceitful. It is worse than the “sleaziest back-room Mafia deal.” (331)
It can’t be found: “It lurks in an unsearchable and deceitful fortress.” (365)
It is tricky:
“[It is like] trick birthday candles: you blow them out and smile, thinking you have your wish; then your jaw drops as they burst into flames.” (368-369)
Oh, this awful, horrible disease. When we contracted it:
“In an instant, fear, guilt, and shame became standard human experiences. People who once lived in perfect harmony now accused, deceived, and fought for control. Weeds and disease became daily concerns. People began to desire what was evil and do what was wrong. Rather than submit to God’s authority, they lived as their own gods. The world that once sang the song of perfection now groaned under the weight of the Fall.” (Tripp 2)
That’s right, we want to be gods:
“Essentially we want to be God, ruling our worlds according to our own will.” (14)
“We want to be our own gods, revealing to ourselves all the ‘truth’ we need.” (15)
We need to be “rescued from [our] own self-sufficiency.” (9) This disease:
“is the inborn tendency to give in to the lies of autonomy, self-sufficiency, and self-focus. It results in a habitual violation of God-given boundaries. Autonomy says, ‘I have the right to do what I want when I want to do it.’ Self-sufficiency says, ‘I have everything I need in myself, so I don’t need to depend on or submit to anyone.’ Self-focus says, ‘I am the center of my world. It is right to live for myself and to do only what brings me happiness.'” (14)
This disease has a name. This disease is called sin.
There is wonderful news:
“That bitterness can be put to death. That compulsion can be broken. That fear can be defeated. That stony heart can be made soft, and sweet words can come from a once-acid tongue. Loving service can come from a person who once was totally self-absorbed. People can have power without being corrupt. Homes can be places of safety, love, and healing. Change is possible because the King has come!
“In all of this, God’s ultimate goal is his own glory. Christ came to restore people to the purpose they were made for: to live every aspect of their lives in worshipful, obedient submission to him. He accomplishes this by breathing life into dead hearts so that we grasp our need for him. He lives sinlessly, keeping the law on our behalf. He lays down his life as a penalty for sin, so that we can be fully forgiven. He adopts us into his family, giving us all the rights and privileges of his children. He daily conforms us to his own image. He enables us by his grace to do what is right. His Spirit lives inside us, convicting of sin, illumining truth, and giving us the power to obey. He places us in the body of Christ where we can learn and grow. He rules over every event for his glory and our good. He makes us the objects of his eternal, redemptive love.” (6-7)
Lundgaard, Kris (1998-11-01). The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin. P&R Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Tripp, Paul David (2002-10-22). Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change. P&R Publishing. Kindle Edition.