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  • Writer's pictureSam Kee

I Don’t Know What Came over Me

Photo by Alexey Demidov

“I don’t know what came over me!” Have you ever said this to yourself after failure or sin? Or, perhaps even worse, have you said it to others? I’m guilty of doing both!

At first glance, this looks like a good response to failure; it seems as if you’re assuming a posture of humility. But if you think about it a bit further, this kind of response demonstrates that one is out of touch with themselves and reality. You’re probably saying it in order to protect your ego, as if you’re so much better than what you did. But maybe you’re not.

Do you know what’s going on in your soul? Do you know why you do what you do? If not, “I don’t know what came over me” is not an adequate response. It shows you don’t know yourself, which is very dangerous. You don’t know that within you, as Jesus said, is all kinds of murder, idolatry, adultery, slander, evil thoughts, etc. (Matthew 15:19).

Imagine your mechanic saying to you, “I have no idea what that noise in your car is!” or “I have no idea why your car won’t start!” This wouldn’t be an acceptable answer. You would either demand he or she find out what’s wrong with your car or you would find another mechanic.

For some reason, after we fail or fall into sin, we’re content with “I don’t know what came over me.” We chalk it up to one of life’s great mysteries and move on. We may even claim some Bible verse to ease our troubled conscience. But this only keeps us from getting greasy in the deeper parts of our lives, until we figure out why we’re misfiring. Maybe we need to claim more from Job and less from Romans.

If we don’t know why we did what we did, it’s our job to find out. No one can do it for us. It’s not acceptable to shrug our shoulders and move on. We must learn how we’re wired, where we went wrong, and how to fix what is broken.

If not, then something worse will happen, maybe involving collateral damage. Just ask me, I know.

If you keep falling into the same sinful pattern or keep getting tripped up by the same things, then it’s your responsibility to figure out why. You have to dig deep. You have to keep asking yourself, “Why did I do that?” and then “Why did I do that?” and then “Why did I do THAT?” until you can’t go back any further.

We are out of touch with our souls probably because we are so in touch with our smartphones. Because our lives are so superficial, they seldom are deep. By living on the surface, we become out of touch with the subterranean movements of the most important part of our lives: our souls. Jesus said that the whole world was not worth just one human soul. And here we are, enamored with the whole world at our fingertips, while our souls heave and gasp.

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