Monday, February 26, 2007

Self-Destructive Behavior

What is self-destructive behavior? According to WrongDiagnoses.com, self-destructive behavior can be defined as:
...behavior in which one has a tendency to do harm to oneself, either as a direct or indirect result of their actions; frequently marked by impulse, but also includes chronic, injurious behaviors. (Click here for reference)

It seems counter-intuitive that we would want to hurt ourselves, but our addictions to drinking, taking drugs, cutting, overeating and sexual promiscuity make it clear this is not the case. I'm sure you have either engaged in self-destructive behavior or know someone who has.

Why do we do it? From a spiritual perspective, it is clear that we have been targeted by an enemy that is out to do us harm. And, sometimes, the best way he can harm us is through ourselves. The Bible says, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy...(John 10:10)." We don't like to think of the demonic influences in this world, but they are real. If you belive in angels, you have to believe in their counter-force: demons.

The reason I mention this is because we tend to think that everything we think originates within ourselves. We think we are the captains of our own fates, shepherders of our own destinies and holders of the keys to the kingdoms. What's surprising to note, however, is the amount of influence Satan has over our thoughts and words. Jesus recognized Satan's influence when Peter berated him for talking about his upcoming crucifixion. The Bible says, "Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he [Jesus] turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Matthew 16:22-23)" Isn't it interesting that Peter thought he was saying a good thing, but it turned out to be a sign of demonic influence?

So are many of our actions and thoughts. Satan uses our thoughts to influence us in what we think and how we behave. As noted above, the 'thief' wants to kill, steal (your destiny, your joy, etc.) and destroy you by whatever means possible. It's much easier when we already have negative thoughts and inclinations (due to childhood traumas, low self-esteem, depression, etc.), but he will also send his minions to throw a little more gloom on an already gloomy day. You know how you seem to get thoughts from nowhere, but seem to make so much sense when you're down? Like, you'll be feeling low, contemplating a donut or two or three (or at least I do!) when you'll hear a voice that says, "Go ahead, eat it. It doesn't matter what you put in your body. You're never going to lose weight anyway." Or you decide that you don't want to get out of bed and that voice comes again to agree with you, saying, "Going to work is pointless. You hate it there. Nobody likes you and you don't like them! Stay home, relax. Don't even bother to call in." Or, in the worst cases, when someone you loves does something you feel is injurious and you heed to that voice that says, "She doesn't really love you. If she loved you, she wouldn't treat you that way. Women can't be trusted. You should just leave her. But first tell her what you can't stand about her. Hurt her the way she is hurting you." And you find yourself telling your best friend/partner off without even realizing why you're doing it.

Sure, many of those voices probably developed as a result of your bad experiences, but Satan will definitely use those things to speed up your demise. If he can leave you hopeless, alone, isolate you or help you fall into depression, he is more than happy. And if you start to drink, start taking drugs, find someone else's life to ruin, cut yourself or start to contemplate suicide, he's even happier.

How do you combat the enemy's influence? The Bible is very clear about the protection God affords His people. It says (in Ephesians 6:10-18 (CEV)):
Finally, let the mighty strength of the Lord make you strong.
Put on all the armor that God gives, so you can defend yourself against the devil's tricks.

We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world.

So put on all the armor that God gives. Then when that evil day comes, you will be able to defend yourself. And when the battle is over, you will still be standing firm.

Be ready! Let the truth be like a belt around your waist, and let God's justice protect you like armor.

Your desire to tell the good news about peace should be like shoes on your feet.

Let your faith be like a shield, and you will be able to stop all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Let God's saving power be like a helmet, and for a sword use God's message that comes from the Spirit.

Never stop praying, especially for others. Always pray by the power of the Spirit. Stay alert and keep praying for God's people.

You have to stay close to God. Read His Word. Pray always. And allow His thoughts influence you and your behavior. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you and focus in on the positive affirmations and promises that God has for you. Don't allow Satan to influence you more than God. The Bible says, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)" Satan does not have unlimited power - he is only as powerful as you allow him to be in your life. Finally, I leave you with the words of Jesus:
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)



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14 comments:

sIAM said...

praise the LORD!
Just visiting from urban1. Keep up the fight for the LORD! It is good to see a sista in the war. Praise the LORD! The battle is within and only through the BLOOD of the LAMB can we be victorious over our destructive ways. Because with CHRIST GREATER is HE that is in us than he that is in this world.

VICTORIOUS IN CHRIST! sIAM(urban1)

Jim Baxter said...

Letters
Santa Maria (CA) TIMES 4/6/07

NOTICE:
April 2007AD

1. The Shroud has produced three-dimension images of a body moving in space. Please seek your own trustworthy sources of verification. vincit veritas

2. The scientific world of physics is undergoing a revolutionary
change: a paradigm shift of universe proportions and implications.

Sir Isaac Newton would not be surprised. Joel 3:14 kjv

Have a truly Happy Resurrection Day!

semper fidelis
Jim Baxter
Santa Maria, CA
+ + +

Mudlake Slim said...

In searching the Internet for articles about the influence of satan I found this article in your blog. It's amazing that many people who believe there is a God do not beleive there is a satan. Part of our defense against satan is knowing that he is attacking us on a spiritual level and that we must constantly be thankful to God for our blessings and stay close to God through His word. Satan knows us well and is able to provide guilt and many imatations to distract us. If it's OK with you I would like to provide a link to this article on my own blog so that others can read what you have written so well. So much better than I would be able to convey. I pray that the Lord will continue to bless you and watch out for you as we enter in these days before the judgement.

Anonymous said...

Wow..this post was just what the Lord wanted me to read today. Greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world!
Thank you for your encouraging words!

Michelle said...

thank you so much for writing this article, its on time for what I am going through:)

Anonymous said...

Oh, how I pray that more and more people (especially the body of Christ) would address the issue of self-destruction. Depression, anxiety, fear, mental disorders are not things many Christians want to address. It's stick, and it's painful, and it's kept quiet. Thank you for bringing this out of the shadows to be dealt with rather than ignored.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I find it interesting that I found this article today. It has really helped me at this point. I was having some extremely destructive thoughts today. This article has helped to focus my thoughts on fighting my self-destructive plans.

I was stating to give up all hope, and could not find a reason to continue.

thanks

Anonymous said...

Amen

Heather said...

Not only that, but merely focusing your attention and thoughts on Christ is a positive direction to focus your mind in. Stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about God - or think about how you can help someone else. That's one of the very sneaky ways in which WE do slip into self-destructive behaviors and thinking. If we were focused on Jesus to begin with, where would Satan find a spot to slip in something about how pathetic WE are?

Michael Price said...

In our life time, each one of us as humans, experience fear, anger, envy, sadness, insecurity and many other negative emotions and thoughts. These thoughts turn us into fearful people with doubts and insecurity. All these emotions and thoughts cover our real, beautiful inner nature. http://www.xanax-effects.com/

Janessa said...

Michael:
We experience all of those things because of our sin. Sin turns us into fearful people. Our emotions and thoughts do not cover our real, beautiful nature, for if our nature was beautiful our thoughts would be as well. On the contrary. Our sin of fear and lack of trust in God actually sheds light on our evil nature and how badly we all just want to be God, even though we cannot be and aren't. All that craziness shows even more how we need a Redeemer and someone to chasten us. But not back to our lovely natural selves, for the original sin bashed any beauty in our natural selves, but to oneness with God through Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

Praise God for your post. It was just what I needed to hear/read. May God bless you tremendously.

Anonymous said...

well it is easy said than done. how does one manage to stay with God all the time. as a christian we want to always stay with God and do his will. but what i realize is that this can be more difficult to some. in fact, i recently realized that even though we become born again, our past and environment does influence what happens to us in the first periode which can go from days to decades. if we ignore the facts and reality and choose to keep our faith no matter what we do or is done to us, we eventually get to a point where we are fully and truly transformed. however, for some, this journey turnes out to be the worse experience of their lives. for those and maybe even myself, may we always rembember God's goodness and faithfulness in all our troubles and pains. for only then can we believe that he will fullfil what he started through his son.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this article. I've been struggling with hurtful consequences from self destructive behaviors. I'm starting to realize that self destructive behaviors, addictions and obsessions are deterrents to cultivate and maintain self love, necessary to enjoy the gift of life. Knowing that somethings or someones are out to seek and destroy what is rightfully mine makes me angry, it makes me want to fight for my life.