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Fear Can Damage You…

In this Christian devotional, a church sermon about abusing harmful substances reminds one woman that self-inflicted damage can come in other forms too.

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“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.”—Luke 6:37

I left church that sunshiny morning feeling a bit smug. The sermon had been a stern attack on the “big three”—alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. I could be smug. I was a non-smoker, non-drinker, who had never touched hard drugs, and I felt a benign kind of pity for those who had.

And then the Lord, as He so frequently does, popped my balloon. He reminded me in clear “instant replays” of times when I had been: “drunk” with the pride of overcoming these temptations; “smoking” over the way I’d been slighted by a busy salesclerk; had “hangovers” of depression when life didn’t give me what I thought I deserved.

A quiet voice seemed to say, “Shall I go on?”

Contritely I replied, “No, thanks. I’ve got the message.”

And the message was that I could do as much damage to myself by pride, greed, envy, hatred and fear, as I could by consuming harmful substances.

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