Have you ever seen an animal who has been rescued from abusive owners? Most of the time, they are afraid and their behaviour is anti social or even aggressive. They cannot distinguish between acts of kindness and acts of violence because all they’ve ever received from humans is abandonment and cruelty. Even after being rescued by people who want to do good, they still have problems with trusting their new carers. But being good creatures as they are, with time, animals overcome their past and go on to trust and love the people who are now truly caring for them and treating them kindly.
People, however, do not heal as easily from their problems, and that is why many find themselves stuck in life. They are so easily influenced by the negativity and doubt that bombards them daily, and even the things that they used to trust, in their eyes at least, lose their credibility. Regardless of whether these influences are true or not, they still end up becoming true in a person’s mind, which opens up room for bad judgment sand injustice to be committed against others who are being wrongfully accused.
A good example to illustrate this would be the mutual respect among co-workers. Sometimes you get along excellently with your colleague until somebody else comes and badmouths them. All of a sudden, everything changes and you start seeing them ina different light. You start treating them differently and then they start treating you differently because of that. The chain of events continues and you end up hating each other, when in fact there was nothing wrong between you in the first place. But because of something that you heard, you end up adopting somebody else’s opinion about them. You become malicious towards that co-worker even though nothing was wrong, and you only see them as a threat. Every act or word they direct at you becomes a reason for mistrust.
This kind of situation happens to people of faith all the time, but with regard to their relationship with God. People who call themselves Christians start well but end up being influenced by situations or people who undermine their beliefs. Even family members sometimes badmouth the faith or church, while others even bring to the person’s attention situations that happened to project their ideas on them. That is why we see so many people who start going to church and experience God’s presence in their lives start to have doubts because something happens along the way. They end up getting wounded in faith, so everything that comes after is perceived as an act of aggression. They continue to pick the wounds and refuse to let them heal to be able to move on. Every time someone approaches them with a good word or a reprimand, they receive it with malice.
“Thou Jerusalem, wash thine heart from malice that thou wouldst be made safe” (Jeremiah 4:4-18)
This has been the back door from which evil has been destroying people of faith, and it is usually very subtle because that is how evil works. It does not show up in red with horns on its head and a trident in its hand. It is camouflaged and sometimes unrecognisable as being evil. It uses malice, which can build up in a person’s heart over several years and they might not even notice that it is destroying them. Christians have been allowing the build-up of situations that they witness or words that they hear to create opinions about others. They end up listening to gossip, and by ‘connecting the dots’ create assumptions that they end up believing as the truth of what is going on behind closed doors. Sooner or later, this build-up of malice will cause them to question even God’s Word, and that is where they lose their salvation. This happens especially when their prayers go unanswered or their lives take a turn for the worse. They blame it on everyone except themselves. They can’t see that their spiritual coldness started from the moment they stopped doing God’s will by seeing the things of God with malicious eyes.
That is why we must always watch out for bad influences in our lives. They can contaminate our thoughts and ruin the things we hold most dear. We must always keep our hearts pure and see things with good eyes. Top reserve our faith, and ultimately our salvation, we have to shun things and people who are negative. You have to defend your faith from outside influences and allow only what is good to enter. That way, you keep your heart clean and pure and you avoid becoming susceptible to the attacks of evil in your mind.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”(Matthew 5:8)