Anyone who has dirt on you has control over you. This is how secret societies operate: how much will you denigrate yourself to get in?
And once your in, what will you agree to do so knowledge of what you did never gets lit?
It’s called leverage, but I like the harsher term blackmail. Picture of politicians in uncompromising situations . . . iron-clad proof of illegal activity . . . that sort of unsavory thing.
Doing unsavory things is a kind of loyalty oath. Stay in line and reap the benefits. Wander off the reservation, and oh boy, all the dirty laundry gets aired.
It’s not just earthly organizations who operate like this. The devil works the same way. You can get it do what you desire–because it feels good–but you become the slave to your vices.
And if you’re busy abusing and abasing yourself, well, there might be some unscrupulous person who uses that as leverage against you.
Sunlight is the best disinfectant, as the saying goes. What you do when no one is looking defines you. We all struggle with vice, and boredom can lead to all kinds of destructive behavior; there’s a reason idle hands are considered the devil’s work, after all.
Live as clean as possible. It’s not easy. It takes work. But the less leverage anyone can get on you, the less control they have over you.
Discipline, Godly and honest discipline, is love. Self-disciple is the best way to love yourself. We weren’t made to be hunched in front of flickering computer screens late at night, or snorting and injecting and shoving poison into our bodies, or physically and emotionally harming the people we love and are responsible for.
We are made for greatness.
Elpida faces plenty of temptation in A Traitor to Dreams. What if you could get exactly what you desire . . . what would you be willing to pay?