Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Taming the Voices Within

Hi Friends,

I've been working on my next book, Reaching for Wonder (now available for pre-order -- yay!). I just finished the chapter on the man with a legion of demons. It got me thinking about what we do with the voices within. Here are some thoughts ...


Few stories are more fascinating than the tale of a man who held a legion of demons. Sometimes when we speak of demons in the New Testament, people want to argue about whether demons are real or if they are but forms of mental illness. Some want to debate how many demons can fit on the head of pin, or in this case, in one poor man. Others want to focus on the question of whether Christians are immune to possession. But no matter the debates, none of us are immune to the voices in our heads. We all know the whispers that arise in our minds when life turns to dark, painful places. All of us can relate to the pressures of insidious thoughts that are not from God and mean only to destroy us. Thoughts that tell us we’re worthless, hated, unable, unfit, unwanted, abandoned, helpless, hopeless, and no one, even God, can redeem us. Thoughts that drive us to actions we despise and cause us to hurt those around us. Voices that build hate and fury, that break community, crush love, and leave us lonely.
         You know those thoughts. You know the chaos they create within you. I do too.
         They drive us from ourselves and from others. But they cannot dirve us from Jesus. The story of the man with a legion of demons tells us that. So I look to this man with thousands of voices screaming for attention in his head, and I wonder … what is it like to encounter Christ with when the voices are so loud you can no longer hear yourself think, or pray, or believe? Can Jesus reach through the voices within? Can he silence them? And in doing so, will we hear the very voice of God?

         Let’s travel with the demoniac to the very edge of the Sea of Galilee. Let us bring our inner voices, the lies we believe and act on, the fears that eat our souls, and see what happens when those voices encounter the living God.