(Eric Church video)
I can still recall my personal fear of monsters under my bed as a young boy. Of course, I quickly outgrew those unfounded fears.
There’s a catchy country song that’s been picking up steam over the past few months that got me thinking about those childhood monsters. Eric Church’s hit “Monsters,” has helped me to consider something we all need to realize: Our monsters are not the ones beneath the bed! Childhood fears may seem scary, but we all get over them in time.
The message embedded in Church’s catchy tune is not about the perceived monsters under our beds as kids. Instead, it deals with the intrinsic monsters we all face as grownups.
Right smack in the middle of the song, Church proclaims, “The wolf hunts a hungry man and the devil a lonely heart. A minefield of bad decisions lay hidin’ in the dark. Greed stalks, sickness steals, and pride lays a wicked trap. You can’t avoid ’em all, no, you gotta trust me on that.”
You see, many of the monsters we must face as grownups are quite subtle. Since we live in a fallen world, we can’t simply avoid all the proverbial monsters that will cross our paths. Sooner or later we all have to face our share on this journey called life.
In business for instance, we may have to deal with vicious, unscrupulous people who are only concerned about themselves as they take advantage of those whom they perceive as weaker. There’s much evil in this world and there’s a certain darkness all around us.
The chorus to the song goes, “Anymore when a restless feelin’ keeps me up at night. Fallin’ on my knees is my new turnin’ on the light. I keep my faith intact, make sure my prayers are said. ’Cause I’ve learned that the monsters ain’t the ones beneath the bed.”
There’s no other way to remove the darkness all around us than to let in the light! Apparently, the songwriter has come to grips with “keeping his faith intact and making sure his prayers are said” as he meditates through song.
In Psalm 63, King David speaks of his perceived need to draw near to God. Listen to these words from verses 4-8: “I will praise you as long as I live. And in your name, I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you during the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”
As you can see, David knew where to go when he was faced with the internal and external monsters in his life.
Let’s talk more about those monsters that we all must face internally. In Galatians, the Apostle Paul speaks of the natural acts/deeds of the flesh. Then he presents the fruit of the Spirit, which is present to some degree in all believers. This fruit is diametrically opposed to our fleshly deeds.
In Galatians 5:22-23, he exhorts, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Can you relate to this long list of characteristics that should be present in the lives of all who follow Jesus Christ as Lord?
I know these nine characteristics set a very high standard, nor can I say that I’ve arrived. May I suggest you start with love, joy and peace and simply allow the Holy Spirit to work in you daily?
Please note I said “‘in you” since that’s where He resides once you become a child of God. You see, the monsters will have no place to reside if you, like King David, allow Him to fill your life with His goodness.
And do remember: Our monsters are not the ones beneath the bed!
Passages to Ponder
— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.