Updated 24 September 2023
I think humanity’s worst enemy is moral division. The Devil doesn’t like it when we’re kind to each other. He throws fear, jealousy, envy, pride, egotism, paranoia (same as fear), apathy, discontent, worry (same as fear), inferiority, superiority, greed (especially greed) at us. And everything else he’s got to combat kindness. Satan is a master of moral division. That’s how he operates. But he’s only successful when we let him be successful. With each other’s help we can overcome everything he throws at us. When we communicate problems, we solve them. When we hide problems, we hinder a solution. We also hinder love by hiding.
Love is what does the overcoming.
Jesus taught us that because it’s true.
The Devil is very clever and difficult to counter. He speaks to us at opportune moments. Coaching us to think and behave badly. Like when we’re weakened by stress. To use Sean Dietrich’s situational example, like when sitting in a passenger plane on the runway waiting for a storm to subside.
To overcome the stress when that bad thought pops up about how important we are and shouldn’t be inconvenienced… we can try to replace it with a thought about others… How we’re all in the same boat. Because we’re all subjected to storms.
Everyone experiences some level of mental illness in their lives. That’s when the Devil is most active. Mental illness can include intrusive thoughts. Like thinking we need to lash out at our neighbor because they’re causing you to wait. “My needs should be the priority. Their needs don’t matter.” We’re at our best when we’re focused outside ourselves on others. Everyone has needs. The stranger next to you on that crowded plane could be strongly dependent on medication to be stable. Stress triggers episodic symptoms. Medications don’t always hold up and have to be adjusted. Many mentally ill people don’t admit they’re ill. Some know they are but don’t seek help. Some know they are but don’t take medication. Some are just unaware of their condition.
Replacing intrusive thoughts most importantly requires self thought monitoring and seeking supportive help. Like we get from our doctors, nurses, family and friends… and thoughtful strangers on a stressed airplane.
You might also want to include asking for God’s help in the mix.