J. Marshall Jenkins

Author, Therapist, Spiritual Director

Do Not Fight the Enemy Alone

How the enemy leads you down dead end roads to anything less than love.

Dear Wounded Healer,

A dark power works in the world to undermine our acceptance of God’s love. It targets our sense of worthiness for love and leads us down any of a number of possible paths away from God.

It may initiate its attack from without. Someone criticizes to hurt. A social system keeps us down. Accident, illness, or aging limits our powers.

But this dark power works mostly from within, whispering that we are not yet good enough for love, that we need to be more than we are, more attractive, smart, successful, or even more holy.

It offers false freedom to choose from any number of ways to compensate for this unworthiness. It is false because every path is a dead end.

Down one dead end path, we rage against our presumed unworthiness and narcissistically assert ourselves with every power at our disposal – money, rank, brute force, sex appeal, whatever we have. Or we may strive to ever higher achievement in hopes of becoming too decorated with honors for God to refuse us.

Down another false route, we rage against ourselves and choose ways of addiction or self-destruction in despair that God could love us. Or we assume a posture of inferiority in hopes that we may at least warrant pity.

The Enemy

This dark force may be personal, a demon or alter ego. It may be a psychological counterbalance to joy like Freud’s death instinct. It may be some emergent property of a civilization broken by relentless cycles of violence. But whoever or whatever it is, it is the enemy of the beloved self, and it works in direct opposition to God’s love.

As you listen to people struggling with the enemy, as you offer presence and hope and fresh perspectives, you battle this parasitic enemy sucking the life out of those you serve. But the enemy is powerful. Do not fight alone. Pray for those you serve, and hold up a mirror to reveal the image of God that they bear.

When the hour of ministry ends, do not be surprised to hear the voice of the enemy now within you, whispering that you did precious little to help if anything at all, that you are an impostor, that you are wasting your talents giving yourself to others when you could earn more, climb a corporate ladder, or just give up.

Do not fight alone. Whatever good you do springs from God’s love working through you. Ask God for a share of that love even though it is already given to you. Ask for mercy. Trust in Jesus who descended to every depth to meet us there and call us to the freedom to love that knows no dead ends.

Name the enemy when you hear the whispering. Then name your savior and friend, Jesus Christ, through whom all good things come. His love that is always the last word that will show you Whose you are and who you are.

Blessings,

Your Inner Voice of Love

Posts in the Wounded Healers Blog are messages of gentle encouragement I give to myself and offer to you as messages you may adopt for yourself. For further context, visit the home page.

Related Posts

To Love the Enemy Without, Love the Enemy Within

Calling Out the Inner Enemy

J. Marshall Jenkins

About J. Marshall Jenkins

J. Marshall Jenkins is an author, psychotherapist, teacher, and spiritual director. For several years he has been writing on the Beatitudes for people in emotional pain, publishing biweekly here on his Beatitudes Blog at http://www.jmarshalljenkins.com. His newest book, Blessed at the Broken Places: Reclaiming Faith and Hope with the Beatitudes, is now available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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2 Replies

  1. Carine Dorce

    That is so deep and beautiful! Got me singing “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct thy path.”Thank you Marshall!!!

    1. J. Marshall Jenkins

      Thanks for sharing your joy! It is easy to see “fighting the enemy” as a dark topic, but in fact, we are not alone and have much to celebrate.

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