Conflicted Spirits

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Some people get visibly ugly when they see others prepare to go to worship services. They want to pick a fight. Their hearts and their minds are at war with each other. They have conflicted spirits.

Inner conflict results from holding inside of us two opposing views that are equally strong. For example, perhaps we were brought up in a strict church environment but had a shocking experience with a minister or a priest. Or, maybe our mothers made us go to church as kids and then slapped us around when we got home for fidgeting during the service. These strong, clashing memories put us at odds with ourselves. On the one hand we see the hypocrisy and hurt, and we conclude that faith in God is bogus. But then our heart vibrates with some other rhythm. Our hearts say to us that God is real and that His Word and promises are true. We have conflicted spirits. What is true?

The apostle Paul was no stranger to conflicted spirits. He knew the war between good and evil in his heart (see Romans 7:7-25). He also knew where to find a Peacemaker. When our minds are denying what our hearts know to be true, the only source of a peaceful resolution is Jesus Christ. He suffered hurts greater than our own, yet He never gave up. Jesus resisted temptation and withstood torture, unfair trials, and the death penalty for us. With the help of God’s power, we can let the hurts go, make peace with ourselves and with God.

Jim Vogelzang