Distorted Thinking

Distorted Thinking

. . . All of you have conspired against me? I Samuel 22:8

When I dumped social media, like many things, I did it impulsively, without warning anyone. When readers did not see the blog on Facebook, some assumed I had quit writing and others assumed I had relapsed. One friend took it personally though. Unbeknownst to me, he had relapsed and when he tried to find the blog, he couldn’t. He later told me that he assumed I knew of his failure and had blocked him on Facebook as retribution.

As delusional as this was, it was very real to him. I have been there. Whenever I have engaged in habitual destructive behaviors, I have eventually succumbed to paranoia and distorted thinking. When living in my addiction, the slightest glance or comment, meant that someone knew and was judging me.

King Saul, in today’s passage, came to know the distortion of the mind that results from sin. In the story, his jealousy for David drove him to madness. In his desire to kill David, he burned relationships with everyone around him, including his own son. His psychosis generated the conflict and when he failed to kill David, he turned on his priests, slaughtering them instead.

Our minds, like Saul’s, often simply cannot tolerate the stress of our twisted behavior, and so, our thoughts become diseased. We become paranoid of everyone, seeing those who would help us, as enemies. We see those who want us to continue in our destruction as friends. In our desire to justify our behavior, we make evil out to be good and good out to be evil.

Looking back, it seems almost impossible that it was me who did those things that now reside in my memory. It was me though, and it was my distorted thinking that took me to that point. Thankfully, there is hope for my condition. As I abandon myself to follow God, my mind is returned to me, and I can begin to see reality from His perspective.

Though we will never be perfect, as we follow Christ and disengage from our diseased behavior, He restores us to sanity.

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