Monday, April 25, 2016

"Pester Power"

John 13.2, 27 NLT

“It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.”

“When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him.”


Nagging works. A nagging husband or wife usually get their way. A nagging thought often comes to pass. A persistent, nagging cough can last for months. Many parents eventually cave to the wishes of a nagging child.

Matthew Bell, a zoologist at Cambridge University, conducted a study of banded mongooses in western Uganda. He speculated that, because begging has a cost in terms of energy, “the amount of noise [mongoose] pups make should depend on the degree to which they think they will get a return on their work.”[1] He found that pups were more likely to make noise with generous caregivers than with those who were stingy or in bad condition and thus had less food to spare.
“He [Dr. Bell] thinks the findings are more broadly applicable. Parents of over-fussy babies, or tantrum-prone children, will not be pleased to discover it is their very attentiveness that is making matters worse.”[2]
Because parents don’t always know the real reason for the cries of a child, they may unknowingly set themselves up for manipulation by a child who has learned the benefits of nagging.

The devil discovered this secret eons ago. He nags and nags until the weak-willed give serious consideration to his request. Once he has a mental foothold, the devil can leverage his position and ultimately take charge of a person’s behavior. The devil “prompted Judas… to betray Jesus” and eventually “Satan entered into him”. What began as a nasty little prompting, ended with full-fledged demonic possession. By then, it was too late for Judas.

I must learn to recognize the quiet prompting of an evil thought somewhere in the back of my mind. When I do, I should just say “no”! The devil has no power against a determined Christ-follower who refuses to surrender to a nagging impulse which inevitably leads to serious temptation.  

“Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
James 4.7 NAS
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[1] “Sob Story ~ Parents can make things worse”, Science and Technology , “The Economist” magazine, Volume 386, Number 8571, March 15th, 2008, page 97.

[2] Ibid.

Note: The "Nags" image is from a sign above a pub called Nags Head and used by permission of LondonSLR whose excellent photography can be viewed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/londonslr/.

1 comment:

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