Name Your Demon

We often think of temptation with respect to a sin that leads to destruction. That is, alcoholism leads to liver failure, materialism leads to bankruptcy, pornography leads to failed marriages, drug addictions lead to homelessness, etc. But this behavior is symptomatic of deeper issues, and this is where the demons live.

In the ancient world, naming the demon was a big part of the practice of exorcism. Once you could identify a demon, learn its name, you had power over it. There’s much truth to this idea.

As you think about your own weaknesses with respect to temptation, identify your demon(s). This may take a while, as many times the name isn’t all that obvious. Most of the time it’s associated with a fear: fear of abandonment, of losing control, of losing status, etc. Sometimes it’s helpful to talk this over with a counselor or spiritual director.

Once you name the demon, you can begin to develop a strategy to overpower it. Unfortunately, there is not easy formula to this. But in essence you detach yourself from the demon, which can be a very scary process, because we like our demons. We’ve made friends with them. They provide comfort. And to be without them puts us in the abyss.

Read through your journal.  Notice any hints of brokeness, or evil you have experienced or curses you have born. These may help you to name your demon. And then reflect on how fear is used to control you. How can love and truth help you to overcome this fear and destructive behavior?

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