Summary: There’s a Jekyll and Hyde in every one of us. Which nature will win? It all depends upon whether we allow Jesus’ blood to cleanse us from sin, or try to defeat Mr. Hyde on our own.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
By Pastor Jim May
In 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson authored a book titled, “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”. The whole gist of the book concerns the way in which an individual is made up of emotions and desires that are opposite to one another: some good and some evil. It’s all about a man that has great inward battles. One part of him desires only to be perfect, with everything in order. He hates the idea that temptation and circumstances can arise against him and force him to make decisions that he doesn’t want to make, or do things he doesn’t want to do. He knows that men will often act on an impulse, almost without thinking, and then be capable of terrible anger or abandon all vestiges of morality. Dr. Jekyll finally resolves to use any means necessary to separate his evil side from his good side in order that his life could go as he wished. He decides that if he splits his two natures, then he can enjoy life as Dr. Jekyll by day and allow Mr. Hyde to roam freely at night. That was his plan but it just didn’t work out the way he hoped.
When I look at this story I am reminded of what the Apostle Paul said in Romans 7:18-21, "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me."
He went on to ask the question in Romans 7:24, "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"
I am convinced that inside of every one of us there is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. No man alive is able to say that he has completely rid himself of the ability to slip into the evil nature from time to time. Neither can any man say that he never has a thought for good at some time or another. This inner battle, between the good and evil nature in all of us, has been raging since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, and it will not cease until God brings the reign of sin to an end at the end of time.
I can’t use you as my example, even though I have seen the Jekyll and Hyde in many of you. I can only use myself as an example since I know me better than anyone else. I know of the terrible battle that rages.
I told you some time ago of the fact that I am my own worst enemy in my work for the Lord and that is all due to the Jekyll and Hyde on the inside.
How does the Jekyll, the good in me, appear? It appears in the kindness that I show to other people, in the concern for the sick, in the love of God that shines through me. This kind nature, of Dr. Jekyll, is one that wants to be a good citizen, capable of doing wonderful things for the betterment of mankind.
But look out! Don’t cross my path, say the wrong thing at the wrong time, or step on my feelings. If you do, Mr. Hyde is liable to come out shooting and let you have both barrels. Mr. Hyde’s anger will arise. You can call it “righteous indignation” if you want to, but it’s pure and simple anger not matter how you look at it.
The Book of Proverbs gives us a glimpse into the Jekyll and Hyde nature inside of us.
Look at Proverbs 15:1-12, "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit. A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent. In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble. The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness. Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die. Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?"