If You Don’t Mind, Just One More

If You Don’t Mind, Just One More (1,127)

April 25th, 2011

Easter is over. I’m sure some people are relieved, as they stuff their mouths with chocolate or bacon rinds. But if you don’t mind, I’d like to take just one more stop-in on the subject.

In reading Luke the twenty-second chapter, verse three, I was halted yesterday afternoon. I mean, the scripture will be familiar to you: “And Satan entered Judas.”

This possibly will conjure visions of demon possession, frothing at the mouth or hearing voices screaming in his head. There may have been moments of that—I’m not sure. But that’s not who Satan is.

The word “Satan” in Hebrew means adversary and in the Greek it translates to accuser. It got me thinking about how often I allow that same procedure to happen in my own life.

Some of you may be a little uncomfortable with me comparing myself—or even insinuating that human beings in general—are capable of reaching the level of treachery or betrayal exemplified by Judas bar Simon of Kerioth, known as “the Iscariot.” It’s because we fail to realize that the word iscariot, in the Greek, means assassin. So there you have it. The triple “a’s” of self-destruction—adversary, accuser and assassin.

You see, somewhere along the line, Judas made an adversary out of himself. At least, he made himself an adversary to his better nature. Maybe it’s because things didn’t move fast enough. Maybe it’s because he had an unhealed wound of dissatisfaction, which festered every time somebody would dare come up against him. Maybe the blending of his childhood, his religious training, his business failures and his own shortcomings all blended together to make him more “touchy” than “feely.”

I’m not sure. But I know that I experience that phenomenon and if I don’t catch it early I become offensive to myself and therefore believe that the world around me is out of kilter—and then all my morals and ethics are negotiable.

It is an easy step to aggravation and becoming an accuser. I look for reasons that other people are really worse than I am. For after all, in the long run maybe we do love our neighbor as ourselves—at least we treat our neighbor as off-handedly and carelessly as we do ourselves. The end result? We look for excuses to attack, criticize and disagree, all under the banner of having an “adult, mature right to be individuals” and autonomous.

For example, a discussion will ensue in a room, lending itself to a bit of combativeness. We portray ourselves as being reasonable, only to have the person we were conversing with leave and then we begin to talk behind his back or cast aspersions on his character to the surrounding onlookers. It’s usually done with enough comedic presence that if we were challenged by someone for being gossipers or back-biters, we could escape into the pod of alleged humor. It’s sneaky.

But after we turn ourselves into an adversary by being disgruntled and dissatisfied with our own status in life, here comes the Greek definition of Satan—the accuser. A slippery slope. Yes, we dig up rumor and embellish it with our own findings to quietly disassemble the virtue of another. After all, how far is it from accusing someone to the complete assassination of his character?

Lo and behold, I do see it in myself. With any luck, I stop that initial adversary before he builds a home in my heart and welcomes in his Satan II, the accuser. But when I haven’t, the assassin is not far behind.

Some people want to give Judas a pass—that he was robbed of free will, forced to become the fink who turned in the Messiah. Other folks want to believe that he was possessed of devils and that’s why he was capable of such a horrendous act.

But I guess no one wants to consider that he was just “me”—or maybe “you”—turning ourselves into our own worst enemies and from that frustrated, aggravated position, commencing to accuse the world around us until eventually we assassinate the holiest things in our lives.

Yes, I decided yesterday that Judas was just me on a really bad day. Or maybe better stated, a series of bad days.

Published in: on April 25, 2011 at 10:24 am  Leave a Comment  

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