Friday, August 21, 2015

2 Samuel 13:11-12 -- On Not Crowdsourcing Evil

"And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister.
And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly."
2 Samuel 13:11-12

This is part of an interaction between Amnon and his half-sister Tamar.  You know, there are a lot of things that we want to do in life, and not  all of them are good.  Case in point, Amnon's overwhelming desire to sleep with Tamar.  Amnon didn't do anything about it at first, but then he told someone, and that someone gave him some ideas about how to get what he wanted.  A similar thing happened with Cain and Abel.  Satan was around, urging Cain to react badly and let his jealousy rule him.  Similar things happen throughout the scriptures... and throughout our lives.
I work online, and today I had to deal with a lot of questions about this same topic that Amnon was so obsessed with.  One person typed in "sex with sister and she cry" ... which made me want to cry as well.  Other people were trying to figure out who else had done it, some were asking about the consequences of being caught, some were asking if it was okay, or whether they should if a sibling asked them.  One asked how to tell his mom that he had done it.  And you know, the internet is a great place where we can find like-minded individuals.  I can pop on and find Doctor Who fans, people who live near me who like the same hobbies, or other people who want to learn more about the scriptures.  The internet is amazing in that way, and who doesn't want to know they aren't alone, or that other people feel the same?
The danger is when we start finding people who reinforce our harmful desires.  We can start thinking... oh, it must not be wrong if so many people feel the same.  We can get ideas that, when we act on them, make a passing thought into a deadly sin.  Depending on what we encounter and what choices we make, we can take a minor dislike of something we don't understand into hatred that leads to violence, or we can turn it around into love through learning more and trying to understand.  And the same goes with this and so many other sins.  We can turn something minor in our lives into our all-consuming desire, or decide that isn't who we want to be.  It can become an obsession, or it can become a challenge that we faced and overcame, depending on who we are listening to and the choices that we make.
Today, let's avoid becoming Amnon.  When we have inappropriate desires, let's not find someone else who feels the same.  Instead, let's tell God.  Let's tell our parents or our spouse.  If it is something serious, let's talk to the bishop, or a counselor, or both.  Let's never turn to people who will reinforce our evil and help it to grow.  God can change our hearts and flush out the evil if we want it.  Let's allow God to help us to let go of those bad parts of ourselves and to learn to be better and better and purer and shinier. :)

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