Ain’t No Killer Like “I”

“Ain’t no killer like I ” is a line in “War Inside”, written by Switchfoot.

In this song, they powerfully convey the inner struggle of our thoughts and emotions.

Can you identify with the speaker of this powerful song?  I can.

It’s tempting for me to trace my every struggle to the externalities. In desperation, I will spin the facts  to alleviate myself from my own responsibilities. It is the natural instinct of a heart marred by sin, but being impaired by sin doesn’t excuse me from my guilt. This is why I need a Savior.

Paul saw this war in himself;

“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. or I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”  (Romans 7:18-24)

Paul stood in daily need of a Savior.

James saw the same thing going on within the Church;

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:1-2)

James traces the biggest enemy that I will ever fight to the home front. My passions. My desires. My jealousy. My envy.

I don’t know about you, but the following thought has crossed my mind many times: “Everyone else is doing something great except me”. That kind of thinking is the sound of a misdirected prayer. Looks like the Word of God  caught me right in the act.

Novelist and comedian, David Baddiel, coined  a german term to capture that line of thought. He called it “Erfolgtraurigkeit”;

“It’s actually a much more common feeling than Schadenfreude — even though we do of course feast like jackals on the fallen. In order to provide the ingredients for the banquet, modern culture requires an almost constant stream of new successes. It is also, I would contend, a somewhat less malignant one. Schadenfreude seems to me to be the coldest of emotions, an expression of nothing but bitterness, whereas Erfolgtraurigkeit has at least the virtue of sadness, the others’ success having thrown the desolation of your life into bad relief.” 

This line of thinking is the perfect soil for the seed of despair. It’s the noose at the end of the rope, around the Christian’s neck. It’s just one example of the war I fight within myself.

With Paul I cry out to my Savior, Jesus Christ, who is the God who fights for me (Exo 14:14, 15:3; Deu 3:22; Col 2:11; Gal 5:24), with a constraining love  that conquers all. ( 2 Cor 5:14, Romans 8:35-37, 1 Cor 13:7,8,13)

May “I” shrink, and Christ be magnified in me.