Why Are We Attracted to the Bad?
Good beautiful morning everyone, I hope wherever you are and whatever you are doing, blessings are abundant. Lately it has been dreadfully cold, below zero Fahrenheit at times, and snowy every other day or so. But that hasn't stopped me from seeing the good all around. Just like I learned on my Appalachian Trail hikes, good is found in the little things.
I just love that fresh air. My lungs soak it in. And the cold sure does help to offset the temps of hot flashes. Maybe it off sets it a little too much. They other day, my son came down the stairs and said, "Mom, I know you and Dad are trying to save money on the heating oil, but it's 53 degrees in my room. That's just too cold!" Poor guy. The money savings wasn't the main reason the thermostats were turned down. What can I say, I am just one hot chick!
A heat wave is expected for the next few days. Today should get into the 20's and the weekend into the mid 30's. Shorts and t-shirt weather for some of us.
On a serious note though, for those of you who are suffering from natural disasters and other events beyond your control, my prayers are with you. May you find the strength you need to get through the fires and storms. Be strong and know you are not alone.
That was a long intro that had nothing to do with today's post. But as you have figured out by now, my writing is completely unscripted. Many times, unedited, and quite amateur. But it always comes from the heart.
This post has been sitting in my drafts since January 16. Each day I would open it and read "Why are we attracted to the bad?" The title. Nothing more. That's all I had written. There the post sat, empty and meaningless, just like the thoughts in my brain.
The day I had written that I was shamefully gorging on junk food. I had also been in a long text conversation with a dear friend. There I was partaking in my bad habit of devouring anything and everything that was bad for me while I was giving my friend advice on how he should end a poisonous, adulterous relationship.
At some point I realized how ironic the situation was. The characters and stories where different but the theme was the same. Why are we attracted to the bad? It tastes good, It feels good, so it must be good. Lies. Lies. Lies.
There I was giving advice and I was falling pray to the same thing, Doing something I know was bad for me. It reminded me of something someone once told me. When you point your finger at someone, there are three fingers pointing back at yourself. Hmm?
With that Ah Hah moment I sat down and wrote the title of today's post. But that's as far as I got. Each day I thought, today would be the day to expand on it. But nothing came.
Until this morning when I was doing my morning devotionals.
I finished my Bible readings, I said the prayers I like to recite, did a few reflections, then finished with a section from Hope Knows Beyond the Past by Elaine Starner titled Death at the Crossroads.
Instead of paraphrasing, I can't do it justice, I will copy the section for you to read. With Elaine's permission of course.
We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin.
- Romans 6;6-7, 10 -
To be free of our old selves, we must be willing to die.
When we make the choice to become followers of Christ, He says we must do exactly that - follow Him. We must follow, not only in actions and attitudes, but we must also follow His example and die.
What's that about?
The apostle Paul writes of nailing our own selfish ambitions and passions to Christ's cross; we are "crucified with Christ."
What does this "dying" mean? It means we consent to letting go of our old life, our old habits, our old attitudes and ways of thinking and acting. We make the choice to give up "our way" and begin to follow Christ and His way.
Jesus says that unless we "die" to the old, we cannot take hold of the new life God has for us.
If I want to live in Montana, I must let go of my life in Ohio. Makes sense, doesn't it? To move to a new life, we must leave another life behind. You cannot live in both the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. If I did actually move to Montana, many things would often still call me back to Ohio. That same thing happens when I move to the kingdom of light; many things try to call me back to the kingdom of darkness.
Ah Hah!!! That's why we, or at least I am, attracted to the bad. I am trying to live a new life and the old life keeps calling me back. I am trying to do it alone.
Elaine goes on to explain the scriptural principle of dying to oneself and living in Christ - choosing good over bad. We need to make that decision and then let the Grace of God work in us to continue to choose good even when the bad beacons us back.
That's easier said than done, a decision that must be made over and over again, for me, daily, even hourly. But knowing that I don't have to do it alone helps. By myself, I am weak, but in Him I am strong.
Whatever we seek, good health, good relationships, good intentions, good faith, etc, the bad will always be there knocking on our door, ringing our phones, pinging our texts, flooding our inboxes, but we must humble ourselves and stare it down and see it for what it is. A negative that is keeping us in our old ways, our old self, and trying to prevent us from our new home in the kingdom of the light.
The principle is the same even for you who are not in to this God stuff. Truth is truth. If you want to change something you must let go of what it is you currently are doing to have or do the new "thing". And it is easier to do it with the help of others than to go it alone.
I hope this helps you to have an Ah Hah moment.
Have a tremendous day!
Happy Escapading, Emily
PS - If you would like to read more from Elaine, her series on Hope Knows can be found on Amazon.