The Monster in My Head
Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. Romans 12:17
Though it was years ago, I clearly remember the dialogue in my head that precipitated my last relapse. I hadn’t been putting any effort into my faith or recovery and so, when my fragile sobriety met an opportunity to use, the dark voices in my head started speaking. You work hard. You deserve this. Just one time, then you’ll stop. You can have what you want and get away with it. There’s no reason not to do it. God wouldn’t have given you this hunger if he didn’t want you to indulge occasionally. Do it. Think how good it will feel.
Most of us are familiar with some form of this internal dialogue. Some view it as a devil on our shoulder. In recovery, I’ve heard it referred to as The Committee, The Beast, or even Slick. It’s the voice of temptation and it’s the voice of addiction. It tries to convince us that what is bad is actually good. It doesn’t care about our physical, spiritual, or emotional health. It doesn’t care about our relationships or our jobs. It only seeks our self-destruction. It’s the voice of insanity, but it disguises itself as those things for which we hunger. It tells us we can find satisfaction and happiness in drugs, unhealthy relationships, pornography, food, money, status, or beauty. This voice doesn’t count the cost, but rather blinds us to consequences, convincing us to indulge in that which ultimately makes us miserable.
This was the voice of the serpent in the Garden. But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5). This was the voice of Satan, tempting a starving Jesus in the wilderness. If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread (Matthew 4:3).
The voice of evil sounds a lot like the voice of my own appetite. I’m never tempted to stick a fork in my eye – that would be painful with no reward. No, evil tempts me with that which promises gratification now while blinding me to the consequences later. I may not recognize it, but this is the voice of Satan who wants to destroy the new life for which I was created. This is the voice of insanity and If I desire the new life, then I must daily recognize and flee this voice.