Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: LUST (all-consuming desire; excessive craving) (01/08/15)
TITLE: Regime-Change, and the Fight for Freedom
By Noel Mitaxa
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They justify their actions from a tunnel-view of seventh-century religious injustice; to disagree is to invite destruction instead of debate; and victims can only blame themselves―for total submission alone is acceptable within the freedom they seek to impose on everyone else.
Let’s move to regime-change in secular, parliamentary democracies; where resentments run less brutally. Yet minority governments must garner support from splinter groups or single-issue politicians when seeking to pass contentious legislation. And while governments need to hear people’s voices; national interests can be delayed or subjugated when narrow views outstretch their power base by imposition.
So, though our regime-changes come by ballots instead of bullets, cynicism is still misplaced. As Winston Churchill observed, “Democracy is the world’s worst form of government―until you compare it with other forms of government!”
Let’s zero in further―to a personal regime-change.
God has stepped into our world as one of us, offering a regime-change that reveals his nature, his truth and his power. Not as an extravagant display to intimidate us; but to graciously pay our full-admission price for a new life in which we become agents to share the nourishment of his regime-change with anyone within our circles of influence.
All based on trust rather than on terror or on political manipulation.
Yet within this regime-change, we face internal terrorism cells that exploit any uncertainty; for their goal is to pollute our personal confidence and our interaction with others through anxiety and fear. With access to our whole memory bank, they know our weaknesses; and their efforts to lock us into our past make it harder for us to follow God’s call to trust him for a future we cannot yet see.
These cells also destabilise our natural appetites and creative drives by playing on our curiosity; spinning distractions like flimsy cobwebs. But these cobwebs’ distractions exploit the psychological law of diminishing returns with constant mental replays; weaving themselves into cables of lust that trap us in to habitual attitudes, actions or addictions that we know are wrong, despite our noblest desires.
Paul describes this dilemma in Romans chapter seven: knowing what’s right but powerless to fulfil what’s right; recognising how covetous attraction deceives him with lust that blinds him to his ensuing but inevitable experience of self-loathing. A trip back to Eden’s original temptation; to discover the difference between good and evil―but with no victory in this knowledge.
Yet because it’s too easy to judge others’ failures―where we feel strong―Galatians 6:1 warns about finding fault without honestly questioning whether we would do better against the same pressures.
Sexuality is not the only area where lust rears its deceit, despite having so much material to work with. For here, internal terrorist cells have perverted the creative drive that shapes who we are―into an appetite that consumes victim and culprit alike. Victims of sexual abuse suffer despoiled identity, loss of dignity and feel the stain of undeserved guilt or shame; while culprits dehumanise themselves either through robotic coldness or insatiable imbalance.
Victims of other crimes like stealing, embezzlement or physical violence rarely travel through this trauma; though anyone who has been psychologically abused will often struggle with issues of self-esteem or normal relationships.
Lust distorts our legitimate appetites or drives–like security, significance, affection, influence, nourishment, sex or health―beyond their legitimacy by shrinking our world within their dictates, so we are less able to contribute to close or wider interaction with others.
None of us is immune from its subtlety―even the Apostle Paul―and we may echo his exasperated cry, “What a wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Romans 7: 24)
However we can lift our sights beyond our own efforts to combat the internal terror cells, and share the next step of his affirmation that these terror cells will be defeated through the full freedom of God’s regime-change: “Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25)
Author’s note. Though one of the keys to good writing is to show rather than tell, I feel that a topic such as this is better left without too much on show…
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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