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'Every Day Light' with Selwyn Hughes

Devotional for April 17

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts." (v. 23)

For reading & meditation:
Psalm 139:1-24

We ended yesterday by saying that no one can become a peacemaker - in the biblical sense of the word - until they have found peace within their innermost self. As we are looking at the Beatitudes from the point of view of how effective they are in producing good spiritual and mental health, it is interesting to see how the psychology of Jesus is always ahead of the findings of those who study human behaviour. The view of many psychologists and psychiatrists is that much of the talk and activity by the masses in relation to international peace is actually a projection whereby they take the pressure off themselves. I am not convinced that all the concern can be dismissed in this way, but a lot of it can be explained in terms of the mechanism known as psychological projection. Listen to what Louis Linn and Leo Schwartz say in their book Psychiatry, Religion and Experience: "A psychological origin of an adolescent's social idealism lies in his yearning for peace within himself. He tends to project his feelings of helplessness and turmoil on to the outer world, so that his yearning for peace may take the form of a wish for world peace." Many of the activists who work for world peace may find this difficult to accept, but the truth is that if they did not have a world crisis on which to project their feelings, they would have to create some other condition. As long as we are not at peace within ourselves, we will create situations on which we project our insecure feelings.

Dear Father, help me to understand this strange mechanism of projection. For I see that I can do the right things for the wrong reasons. Only You can probe my heart. I pray today with the psalmist, "Search me, O God, and know my heart." Amen.

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'Every Day Light' Copyright 2005 © Selwyn Hughes.

Taken from 'Every Day Light' devotional, by Selwyn Hughes. © 1999 and is used by permission. All rights reserved.

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