Mixed Bag – Split Personalities
Key Bible Verse: You like to look good in public, but God knows your evil hearts. – Luke 16:15
Bonus Reading: James 2:10-11
Sylvia Fraser tells of the tributes paid at her father’s funeral. He was a man of proper and regular habits—a Christian man “who didn’t smoke or drink … who helped with the grocery shopping, who never took the Lord’s name in vain.” A polite and neighborly man, Mr. Fraser “kept his snow shoveled, his leaves raked, and his bills paid.”
He also sexually molested his daughter Sylvia from age 4 to 12, threatening her first with the loss of her toys (he’d throw them into the furnace), then with killing her cat, then with sending her away to an orphanage—all this if she were to disclose their secret, a secret that not only divided him, but also split his daughter into two persons, the ordinary good girl and the evil daughter who submitted to her father’s wishes.
If Mr. Fraser was like the rest of us, he could live with his character inconsistencies only by sealing them off from each other, just as an ocean liner can sometimes keep sailing, even when damaged, if the crew seals off the flooded compartments.
In both cases, business can continue for a time under emergency conditions. But, as Sylvia Fraser’s story reminds us, sin disintegrates both its victims and its perpetrators.
—Neal Plantinga in Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be
My Response: What “sealed off” segment of my life do I need to open up?
Thought to Apply: Integrity on one side of our character is no voucher for integrity on the other side.—John Henry Newman (British churchman)
Adapted from Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be (Eerdmans, 1995)
Prayer for the Week: Lord, help me to stop kidding myself about what I’m really like. Thank You for loving me even though You know the worst.