Saturday, February 28, 2015

Jude 1:10 -- On Natural vs Spiritual and Inner Peace

"But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves."
Jude 1:10

This reminds me of King Benjamin's words in Mosiah 3:19: "the natural man is an enemy to God."  We try to figure so many things out by asking what our "nature" is, or what evolution has taught us... we try to understand ourselves by defining ourselves by our desires or our emotions, thinking that is the "real" or "core" part of what we are, and that we have to be true to it, when on the other hand God is telling us that that part of ourselves is only one aspect of the self, and although it is valuable and amazing, it needs to be taught trained and bridled.   I think it is the same mistake that we make when we're kids.  We want to be independent and we go at it full steam, not understanding the consequences.  We would burn ourselves or get ourselves run over or hurt in countless ways if our parents or caregivers weren't watchful.  We make similar mistakes with love, especially believing the version that is popular in teen novels.  In that version, and in the way we feel sometimes, we just *want* something so much, and supposedly that makes it right.  I was watching an old Kim Novak movie today and they actually said the line "that's what love is: obsession" (or something very close, I might not have gotten it verbatim).  Popular media tells us this a lot.  That addicted feeling justifies anything and everything.  So God can be unpopular when he tells us that love is important and amazing, but that we have to bridle that desire as well, and not jump into and out of responsibilities and relationships based on every crush that comes along.  King Benjamin tells us that we have to put off the natural man and become saints.  Perhaps, especially when our desires are strong, that seems impossible or superhuman.  But it isn't being "untrue" to ourselves at all... it is being true to the higher and better part of ourselves, and will result in much longer-term happiness.
Today, let's not corrupt ourselves by living "true" to the baser side of ourselves.  Let's be true to the whole self by allowing our spiritual selves to take precedence and guide us to better things.  Let's put kindness and love and trust first.  Let's put other people before selfishness.  Let's listen to God, our Father, when he tells us not to run out into traffic.  Let's hear him as he teaches us how to guide our desires into healthy avenues.  Let's find ways to love that don't make us hate ourselves or others the next morning.  Since we have a choice, let's be the saint rather than the "brute beast." :)  It does seem impossible sometimes, but with practice, it never is.  God is helping.  We can control ourselves and learn to make better choices.  As we do, we'll be true to our souls, and learn to direct our desires into healthier areas, which will make that part of ourselves happy as well.  With God's help, we don't have to be torn in half... we can find peace.

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