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Friday, February 5, 2010

What I’m Reading Today: Mark 5

When I was younger, I heard the old saying “Better the devil you know than the angel you don’t” – and had no clue what it meant. Then I began a career in human services, I began to figure out what the saying meant.

I remember the first time I worked with someone who had a long history of being involved in on abusive relationship after another. I couldn’t understand at first why anyone would go from one unhealthy relationship to another. I kept wondering to myself, “Isn’t one bad relationship enough?!”

Then I began to realize the dynamic that was at work in such situations. Often, people who are involved in abusive relationships arrive at such a point because they had painful relationships in their childhood. They sometimes don’t know the dynamics involved in healthy relationships. That’s why when one bad relationship ends; the person moves right into another bad relationship. That cycle might be all they know…

The first story in the passage I’m reading today from Mark gets at a similar dynamic. The story involves Jesus exorcising the demons from a man and sending the demons into a nearby herd of pigs. At first glance, you would expect that the people of the community would have been grateful to Jesus for helping someone from their area.

And for a brief moment they were.

Then the old tapes kicked in and they realized change was being thrust into their comfortable world. They weren’t ready for that. That’s why they felt compelled to drive the agent of change – Jesus – from their midst. They would rather have “the devil than knew than the angel they didn’t.”

Perhaps there’s an area of your life where dis-ease has run rampant: an area in which you’ve told yourself you’ve longed for change. If that’s the case, ask yourself, “Am I really ready for the possibility of healing, or would I rather hold on to the pain to which I’ve grown accustomed?”

Til next time…

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