The apostle Paul wrote in Romans chapter 7 that there was a war raging in him. What he wanted to do he didn’t do, and what he hated he did. He said that when he wanted to do right evil lied close at hand. Romans 7 is a very compelling read. Paul fights within himself over his actions and his heart. He has two desires within him: one for righteousness and one for evil. It’s been equally intersting for me to see this theology played out on the new hit NBC show My Own Worst Enemy, which vividly depicts this internal battle.
In My Own Worst Enemy Christian Slater plays Edward Albright, an American Secret Agent who volunteered for a special program where his cover alias, Henry Spivey, was actually a dormant consciousness implanted in his brain. Albright’s handlers have implanted a chip in his brain which has this alternate personality programmed into it and they can switch it on and off (which means putting Albright to sleep, and “awakening” Henry Spivey). The only problem is that Henry Spivey thinks he’s a real person with a real history and when Albright’s chip breaks Spivey finds out what is really going on. Suddenly these two personalities begin clashing within the same person and indeed warring against each other.
In one episode Edward wakes up in Spivey’s home with his wife and children. When asked to take his daughter shopping for a formal dress he spends several thousand dollars on a ridiculously inappropriate dress for a young girl. Once Henry “wakes” to find out what has happened he attempts to sabatoge Edward’s life (by breaking his finger…an admittedly puny attempt). The two continue to battle one another, leaving phone messages for the alternate personality and royally messing up one another’s lives.
It’s an interesting, though certainly defecient, picture of what Paul describes in Romans 7 where the old nature of sin battles with the new nature of the Christian. Thankfully, unlike Henry and Edward, we know that in the end righteousness wins out and Christ will complete the work he began! Until that time I can say with Paul – and surprisingly, with NBC – that I am “My Own Worst Enemy.”