We generally want what’s best for us, don’t we? We try to eat right and to exercise. We take showers or baths and groom ourselves. We live in houses that protect us from the elements. We sometimes have cameras, dogs, and even weapons in our homes, in case someone wants to harm us we can put a stop to it immediately.
But what are we doing to ourselves? We can be our own worst enemies. It has even been studied. It is most commonly called self-destructive behavior.
Don’t get me wrong. Not very many of us would browse the gun section of the store thinking, “Oh yeah this is the one that I’m going to use to stop myself from doing something stupid.”
Sounds ridiculous, right?
Do We Act Dumb?
We love to tell teens when they do the dumb things that teenagers do and live to tell about it, that they are being self-destructive. But what about us so-called Christian adults? Does that reckless nature go away when we decide to follow Christ?
To quote Hamlet Act III, Scene III, Line 87: “No”. Christians do incredibly dumb things all the time that can be considered self-destructive.
Something as impulsive as, “I’m definitely going to beat that light” while your kids are in the car. To something a little more serious like, “I know my broken bone has healed but I need these pills to sleep” or, “She’s not the woman I married anymore, I should be allowed to find comfort somewhere else”. To something even worse like, “I could end it right now, I am saved I will go to heaven, and the family can have the life insurance money.”
We make decisions all the time that will eventually ruin our lives and many of us have no idea why. We know it is wrong. We know it doesn’t make any sense, but we still do it. Why do we keep hitting ourselves in the head with a hammer?
There is a name for it in psychological circles. It’s called the ‘high-place phenomenon‘. It is where you are driving over a bridge and for a fleeting moment you have a desire to just drive off of it. Yet you have no desire to kill yourself. What I have learned is that it’s not about dying. It is about living. Most people want to feel the dangerous thrill of almost dying or getting away with something that is very wrong. It is why people stand up on roller coasters or cheat on their taxes.
I believe this happens when someone operates outside the will of God. Nothing satisfies like following God’s will. Everyone has a God-sized hole in their soul but they try to fill it with cheap thrills like drugs, alcohol, sex, or TV. When that God-sized hole doesn’t get filled, they figure whatever they did before wasn’t big enough. That’s when they search for more thrilling adventures.
That is how a person graduates from Nyquil to weed to heroin, then maybe cocaine, then robbery, then destroyed families happen. That is how people graduate from telling jokes, to flirting, to texting late at night, to a rendezvous at a hotel, to talking about leaving each other’s spouse to families being destroyed.
Why do we do this to ourselves when we know it is wrong?
God made us be dependent on him and when we fail to choose him as the source of our fulfillment we will choose something else. There is nothing—and I cannot stress this enough—that even comes close to comparing with Jesus’ love.
I get so exhausted fighting against Jesus and being selfish and doing what I want. That’s no way to live and Jesus knows it. He even said,
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11: 28).
He wants you to drive over that bridge and feel nothing but peace. He wants you to wake up and know what everything is going to be all right. He wants you to know he loves you more than anything you don’t have to keep trying someone else to perfectly love you. No matter what you did in your past, what you are doing now, or what you will do in the future, it can ever separate you from his love.
For some of us, we are going to continue to hit ourselves in the head with that hammer and not know why. We will continue to self-destruct and have no explanation. That’s not his will for our lives. Fill that God-sized hole with the only thing that will fit. God himself.
To answer the question, “Why do I keep hitting myself with a hammer?” Because it feels so good when I stop. So, stop. Clip the fuse. Don’t self-destruct.
Instead, turn to Christ and let him fill your needs with his perfect, eternal, never-give-up-on-you love.
Prescott Williamson is a Bible-believing Christian. He is a husband, a father, and someone who believes that there is a little humor to be found in whatever situation God sends your way. He was born in the small islands of the Bahamas but now lives in the Suburbs of Fort Worth Texas, which is basically the same thing. He enjoys TV, reading, blogging and serving in his church (especially on the days they serve donuts). You can see what I have been thinking about lately on my blog www.prescottascoolbreeze.com.