“Be careful, do not turn to evil, For you have preferred this to affliction.” (36:21)
Stress reveals our vices.
When I counseled a middle school class at a martial arts academy, I learned something about myself: When my students were extra bonkers (full moon, maybe?), or a hard situation went long, or something else wound me up tight, I would take the first chance I got to retreat to the snack room and take my anxiety out on some goldfish crackers. Mindless snacking was revealed to be a major vice. Anything I can fiercely crunch, as if employing my jaw is hampered-wheeling my brain back in business.
While this is debatably related to evil, it certainly isn’t the healthiest way to cope. It also is probably the least of my vices. Stress also brings out the dark side of my wit, which can sharply lash out if not stopped in its tracks.
How true that we naturally bend toward doing something evil in favor of enduring affliction.
Escapism is real and powerful and everywhere. It takes a lot of wisdom and maturity to let something be hard.
What is that for you? What do you turn to in avoidance of pain? What pain are you currently suffering? What could you be doing instead? Ask the LORD about it today.