Sunday, August 14

CS Lewis: All Hell Breaking Loose

What does it look like when all hell breaks loose? Is that a loud event? Is it obvious? Could it be a quiet thing?

I watched a Nat Geo special on 9/11 last night that could easily qualify as all hell breaking loose. Smoke, buildings on fire, people screaming, death and destruction. Yet, there lurks a more subtle hell that sometimes creates chaos in our places of business and in our homes.

Read this Lewis quote carefully and reflectively:

"Hell is an official society held together entirely by fear and greed. On the surface, manners are normally suave. Rudeness to one's superiors would obviously be suicidal; rudeness to one's equals might put them on their guard before you were ready to spring your mine. For of course, "Dog eat dog" is the principle of the whole organization. Everyone one wishes everyone else's discrediting, demotion, and ruin; everyone is an expert in the confidential report, the pretended alliance, the stab in the back. Over all this their good manners, their expressions of grave respect, their "tributes" to one another's invaluable services form a thin crust. Every now and then it gets punctured, and the scalding lava of their hatred spurts out."

CS Lewis

Matthew 15:17-20
17 “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. 18 But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. 19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. 20 These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”

Psalm 19:14
14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

We take another step deeper in the realm of what is on the inside of people ... on the inside of me. I read this Lewis quote yesterday and was greatly convicted in my role with a co-worker. In my efforts to defend myself and even make myself look better to others, I have sought to mildly discredit, demote and maybe even ruin this person. Shocking, I know but my heart still needs help! Devotional blogging does not sinless make, apparently.

Lewis says this behavior comes from hell ... albeit the quiet side of hell. This is the subtle side of all hell breaking loose. I would maintain that the little intrigues and turf wars that occur in the workplace make a spiritual 9/11 in our midst. Do not misunderstand me, I am not making light of that tragic event nor the great loss of life that occurred. I am, however, pointing out the more subtle hells that break out in buildings like these that never get noticed.

Smoke, buildings on fire, people screaming, death and destruction is happening in the wake of our lives every single day we allow fear and greed at work. Sales folks are the most petty and guilty of these great sins. Our fear of others, a desire for control and a nagging greed can cause all hell to break loose. It may not be loud, bodies may not be lying by the copy machine, but every now and then, when the "thin crust" is broken and the scalding lava of hatred spurts out, we are seeing hell at work. All hell is breaking loose. We are seeing what is really going on in the dark places of the heart.

Jesus says it is an inside job. The greed and control and fear ... oh and sexual immorality and lying and slander come from our hearts.

So, everyday, I must drag my stubborn heart to the throne room of my God and surrender it to Him. Everyday, I must pray that the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart will please my Lord.

Only God can change this heart of mine. Only God can give me a human, soft heart to replace this heart of stone hardened by years of fear and greed.

Can you see why I chose the picture I did for today? Beware of the people that speak niceties to you and ingratiate themselves to you ... they might well have a secondary motive. Note when the thin crust breaks and the hot lava of hell spews out. You are seeing dark spots of the heart come into the light. It calls for prayer, not a strong reaction. It calls for pause and watchfulness.

Pay attention to your own hot lava times? Examine what is going on at the heart level. Examine your heart before the Lord.

So, everyday, I must drag my stubborn heart to the throne room of my God and surrender it to Him. Everyday, I must pray that the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart will please my Lord. Will you pray it right now? Let the Great Heart Physician do some cutting today. You and your "friends" at work will be glad you did!

DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.

1 comment:

  1. Interestingly enough, C.S. Lewis described hell (The Great Divorce) as a place people chose because that just didn't like heaven and were uncomfortable with the way things worked there. As much as people complain about "workplace hell," I suppose that it is actually a place they have created after their own liking. — W Walker