“You Fat Pig!” (When the Voice of Conscience Gets Ugly)

I’ve admitted to being analytical.  I’ve even been called insightful.  (Thank you, Marlene!)

Insightful, intuitive, sensitive to others’ feelings or needs…  How I wish I had more of these qualities!  That’s the Up Side of analytical.

Except that I believe the Holy Spirit has a lot of input in a Christian’s thought process, bringing me insights I myself wouldn’t have come up with.  I describe it as being like a sponge lying outside under the rains of Heaven: a bit of that celestial wisdom soaks in and then drips out when needed. ☺

There’s a Down Side of analytical, too: touchy, surmising, jumping to conclusions.  “I could just tell what she was thinking.”

You may be right or you may be very wrong.  (God knows how many misunderstandings I’ve jumped into because I thought I could read between the lines.)

There’s a real Deep-down Side, too.  Someday I’d like to write about that realm – a story fictionalized and scrambled – where the people “society doesn’t want” are forced to spend their days.  I have known a few folks who live there – one a good friend who calls me at night when she’s worried.  Their lives are constantly in danger; their nerves are on edge; they often can’t sleep at night for fear of what someone may do to them.

Psychiatrists would call them paranoid.  But doctors only want to label people so they can drag them off to mental institutions, I’m told.  There they can dope them, do experiments on them, or inject them with lethal doses of something.  One woman told me that while she was hospitalized they’d poisoned her with mercury.  She knew it because it was still coming out of the pores of her skin; she saw it lying in little silver beads on her carpet.

It’s a tough world where people are constantly analysing information and jumping to fearful conclusions.  What that person said and how they said it and where they were looking when they said it and who may have heard and…

I am naive and trusting.  I never think the neighbours want me dead.  I take people at face value and never give a lot of thought to head games they may be playing; if they are involved in occult activities and casting spells on me, I’m oblivious.  Some folks would tell me I’m just an ostrich burying my head in the sand.  (But I don’t listen to certain Christian radio progams that fuel this thinking, either.)

Nevertheless I’m not above surmising at times.  I may look at someone and think I know exactly what they are thinking – but then I remember the end of that road, the place I’ve visited so many times over the phone late at night with my troubled friend.  So I take a detour and leave my analysis with the Lord.  If HE wants to tell me something I should say or do, I’m open to hear it, but I’m not willing to give ear to the devil’s whisperings and end up in that place where everybody hates me.

Satan lured me there once for a few months.  It started out with little mental reproofs like “She’s going to think you meant…”  Soon he was telling me, “Why don’t you just keep quiet?  You never say the right thing.  You’ve made everybody mad at you!  You might as well never talk to people; just stay home and keep out of everybody’s hair.”  The Lord was so kind as to deliver me from that bondage.  I don’t want a repeat.

 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour…” I Peter 5:8  Yea & Amen!

He loves nothing better than to isolate us, to drive us to despair and even suicide, where we’ll be forever out of the reach of God’s mercy.  (I wish all Christians, especially pastors, would read Tammy Wiens’ post at http://ticklingwontdo.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/not-in-vain/  Here is a real danger we could fall into and become accessories to even more suicides.)

“…there is no truth in him.  When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.  John 8:44b

Another yea & amen.  Through my own experience –and through a book I read right then about an anorexic teen– I got a glimpse of the voice posing as “conscience” that constantly nags anorexics with scoldings like “You’re so fat.  You ate the whole thing.  You pig!”

I think this “voice” also keeps a lot of women in abusive situations.  As a friend of mine once explained, “You have this feeling you should be ashamed of yourself because you’re so bad he has to beat you.”  That’s the voice of the devil…the father of all lies.

I know there are physical, emotional, and chemical causes of mental breakdowns, too; I’ve seen where heredity plays into it as well as street drugs.  But there are cases where the devil has taken advantage of a weakness and an implacable voice like this enters person’s mind – often the echo of a parent’s concerns or criticism.

Everyone hears the scolding voice of the evil one, “Oh, you were SO dumb!”  But it’s another thing to accept it as my conscience, let it pilot my life and take me farther and farther from reality.  Since it’s impossible to ever appease this nagging “voice” the person’s mind finally breaks under the strain.

And since many psychiatrists don’t recognize the spiritual realm, they accept that every mental problem must have some physical or emotional base and treat it with drugs and/or therapy.  “They send you off to La-La-Land,” my friend says.

Drugs can numb this voice while they are effective – therapy can work, too– but they don’t usually obliterate it.  However, they may buy the victim enough space and sanity to make contact with the true source of power, our Heavenly Father.  I’m not at all opposed to drugs or therapy where needed, any more than I’m opposed to casts for broken bones.  But you can never win a spiritual warfare with drugs (or booze… or sex or…)

One thing I can say about my time in that place: at least I didn’t try to start some new religion based on the “enlightenment” this voice was “blessing” me with.  Some people do, you know.  Satan loves it when someone is convinced that this is the voice of God; he’ll make them a prophet, give them signs & wonders, fantastic utterances mixed with enough truth that some people will accept it.  Thus have many isms & schisms been born.

When I became so despondent about my problem and cried out to the Lord for help, He got right to the root of the matter.  “This is not the voice of your conscience; this is the voice of a devil and you don’t have to listen to it.”

“But then how will I know when I’m saying things I shouldn’t?” I fretted.

I’ll never forget His clear answer: “You’ll still have the Spirit’s guidance.  The Holy Spirit won’t stop talking to you just because you stop listening to the devil.”

The tormenting voice left – throwing a few last volleys my way to see if I’d allow it back in again.  But I was cured.  Thank God.

Yes, the devil still tries to worm his way in as my conscience, with nagging thoughts about things I’ve said or done wrong that God certainly won’t forgive.  I’ve tried to fight battles on my own, too.  I make up my mind not to worry about it; I won’t let myself think those thoughts.  Of course God forgives; I just need to have faith.

And the devil laughs; he knows as long as I’m fighting alone I’m beat.  But when I call out to Jesus, “Lord, the devil is tormenting me again.  Please send him away,” then he’s beat and I have peace again.

“What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear,
what a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer.”
–Joseph Scriven

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7 thoughts on ““You Fat Pig!” (When the Voice of Conscience Gets Ugly)

  1. Sometimes when I read a post it just blows me away and I feel I need to respond more than just ‘liking’ the post. I wish I could give you a hug Christine. The line the hit me the most and I heard it over and over again in your post is this “If HE wants to tell me something I should say or do, I’m open to hear it, but I’m not willing to give ear to the devil’s whisperings and end up in that place where everybody hates me.”

    I am going to remember that everytime I hear that voice in my head – the devil’s whisperings.

    Thank you!

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  2. thank you Christine for this post. The issues of the devil taking advantage of a person’s thinking are what my husband is dealing with big-time. Please pray for deliverance.

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  3. I recently experienced this same thing after we moved from VA to FL. I knew no one but my wife and her family. I had never been so lonely and kept hearing the tormenting lies. I actually started thinking of how it would have been better to die than to continue on. But then I recognized where those lies were from. After searching for weeks, we finally found a church home. It was nice to finally meet people and have community. Just to set the record straight, I’m not struggling with those thoughts anymore, but yet I know better than to let my guard down and be isolated. Great post.

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    • Our enemy has a lot of angles, but always brings the same hopelessness. You’re right about isolation; it can steer you into either ditch. I’ve met a number of folks who feel they’re the only ones who really know how God wants things done and they can’t find anyone who agrees with them.

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