James 3:14. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 4:1. What causes quarrels and fights among you? Is it not that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.
Your enemy is speaking to you every waking moment, just as mine speaking to me. You know that voice in your head that is incessantly whispering, sometimes shouting, vile unpleasantness. That’s the voice that drives some people to suicide. It whispers to the jumper, “jump off that bridge, there is no hope for your life to improve.” If he listens to it, and jumps, the very next thing it always says (when the poor jumper is on the way down) is “you fool, there are plenty of things you could have done to make your life better but now it’s too late.” Jumpers who have survived have reported this.
Jesus said “it isn’t what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, it’s what comes out of the mouth.” Matthew 15:17. “Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” You can’t get rid of this enemy–it lodges in your “heart”, which is a metaphor for your mind. You can’t avoid hearing it’s whispers and insinuations, but you can avoid listening. The enemy tries to show you pictures of what it wants you to do, but you can blur them or gray them out in your mind’s eye. The enemy is incessantly running the movies of your failures, but who is in control of the movie projector? You are! All of which raises the questions:
- Who is this enemy, and what or who gives the enemy the power over your life?
- Who are you?
- Who is in charge of your life?
James referenced the “wisdom from above” and the “earthly, unscriptural, demonic ‘wisdom'”. God rules in heaven, metaphorically “above.” Satan and his demons rules this world–they are your enemy. You don’t believe in Satan and demons? Perhaps you don’t believe in a sovereign God? Who plants the good thoughts and the bad in your heart and mind? You have some decisions to make. Decide to believe God or believe the enemy, or if you insist on a strictly material view of reality, take control of the movie projector of your past. Either way, living in the thrall of depression, grievances, and hatred is mostly a choice of what you are listening to and watching internally.