Many years ago, I saw an interview with a former secret service agent. He had been on JFK’s detail when Kennedy was shot. In fact, he was the agent who climbed up the back of the vehicle immediately after the incident.
During his interview, it was apparent that he was still distraught over his “failure”. It was so painful to him that he cried and cried without a break. The interviewer was so moved that he said to him, “surely you can’t blame yourself for this, there was nothing you could do to prevent it.” But he had blamed himself for it. A few years later, this agent died.
This man had a tortured soul. It is so rare in our society to get an inside peak into the troubled self-talk of a man or a woman, that such moments, even on T.V., make a significant impact on the audience.
Some people who self-torture end up committing suicide. The process of emotional self-torture is the process of destroying the framework of the human psyche. It is after such an implosion that a person can choose to make an end of themself when they see that they are at the end of themself.
Such self-destruction (the initial work, self-torture) is a work of the Devil with his bride, the flesh. It is a battle unknown to the majority of people. It is a battle few can see, fewer can recognize, and very few, indeed, can help with.
My friends, this is where friends can be heroic. If you know a person who is self-torturing, you must intervene. Please love them. Please let them know that even if they committed the most heinous sin (which they probably haven’t), that this is not the “last word”. In fact, the “Last Word” is Christ, Himself. He calls Himself the Alpha (first letter of the Greek Alphabet) and the Omega (Equivalent of our “Z”). Jesus has come to finally destroy the works of the Devil. Even and especially the work of self-destruction and torture.
Christ does this by proclaiming your sins forgiven, but also by proclaiming you fully righteous. What does this mean? It’s as if you have always made the exact right decisions and executed these decisions (especially regarding relationships in your life) perfectly. My friend, He has recovered your reputation. Even better than that, He has given you the best reputation in the History of Mankind; His own. Jesus loves you with an enduring love that did not accept any humiliation or punishment as the last word. In fact, the real physical, mental and emotional torture (think of the Garden of Gethsemane) was born by Jesus to resurrect you in His image. And, He does it again and again and again, because His love and grace for you knows no bounds.
He lived to destroy … the Devil and the flesh. He lives to remind you that He has done this for you!
Amen and Amen