Deceived by Our Demons

Lou Lotz

READ : Mark 5:1-20

Does the man with an evil spirit want to be healed? Yes and no. The demon-possessed man falls at Jesus’ feet and worships him. Clearly, he wants Jesus to heal him. But when Jesus tries to expel the demon, the troubled man cries out, “What have you to do with me? Do not torment me.” The distressed man wants to be healed, but, at the same time, he doesn’t.

People are like that. We want to be rid of our demons, and yet we’ve grown fond of them. They are comfortable. We use them. When people come to me with their problems, I try to get them to answer the question: What is the payoff of your problems? In other words, what are you gaining from your miseries? If you could be healed of your sickness, delivered from your demons, what would you lose? Attention, perhaps? Sympathy? Power? A shield? A way to escape responsibility?

We do strike deals with our demons, and to be rid of them is to be rid of the excuses, the power, the pity, which they give us.

Discussion: What are you gaining from your miseries? If your problems suddenly went away, what would you lose?


Lord, don’t abandon me, even when I cling to my problems. Amen.