We are the sons and daughters of God, even more, the Beloved, pursued by God himself. We might think that, having our heart and mind bolstered by these images of beauty and truth, we would live our lives with courage and energy that arise out of the exuberant hope we have in the future. But there is another voice that whispers in our ear a very different message: a message in a minor and condemning key; a key that dilutes or even erases the truths John has portrayed so well. Some of this music in minor key we can ascribe to the pathos of living on this side of the Fall. Along with the creation itself, we will experience an inner groaning until Christ returns to wipe away every tear and establish his kingdom with us in joy and laughter.
But what is the source of the persistent accusations in our head and heart? It is a voice that speaks to us in tones and words vaguely familiar. The words and accusations that slide almost unnoticed into our consciousness are words we have heard before, sometimes from parents, peers, or the enemies of our youth. The voice (sometimes voices) that accuses us is so familiar we have learned to think of it as our own. Many of us have learned to use the voice to help us control life's unknowns—or so we think. It is a voice that constantly questions the wisdom of hope and the life of faith and love that flows from it.
It is the voice of our adversary.