All of us live a Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde life.
In the short novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll is an intelligent and well-respected scientist. He has inherited great wealth. He is a gentleman. He is socially aware and elite. His friends enjoy him and he is a well-respected member of society.
But Dr. Jekyll has a secret. He is pretending. When he is alone, he knows that it's all an act. As a matter of fact, Dr. Jekyll knows that his real personality contains a suppressed evil lurking just below the surface.
One day, using his great intellect and scientific skill, Dr. Jekyll figures out a way to give voice and personality to his evil inclinations. As a matter of fact, he has figured out a way to be an entirely evil person while maintaining the public perception that he is good. He combines chemicals in such a way that he is able to transform himself into a different person. Mr. Hyde.
Mr. Hyde is pure evil. There is no goodness in him, and no pretense of goodness. Mr. Hyde doesn't officially exist, so he is free to live out his evil inclinations without any fear of repercussion or punishment. He is able to live out his evil without any pretense of even wanting to be good.
The compulsions of our bodies, the temptations of our souls, they have ramifications. They have results. And the problems that we face in our bodies are often problems of our souls just working their way out. And like Dr. Jekyll, there is a Mr. Hyde in all of us.
Dr. Jekyll thought he had it all figured out; just be someone else to fulfill those desires. Live one way on Sunday, another on Monday through Friday, or live one way Friday night, Saturday night, and then another on Monday morning.
Such a way of life, won't work, it never does. In the novel, a major problem arose. When the whole experiment started, Dr. Jekyll was in control. He could take the chemical mixture to become Mr. Hyde for a time. But one day, Dr. Jekyll went to sleep and Mr. Hyde woke up on his own. Jekyll hadn't taken the chemical mixture. Mr. Hyde, unexpectedly, unwelcomed, he simply showed up. The evil took over the good.
Jekyll wrote a letter to his friend begging for his help. He admitted in the letter that he thought he had it all worked out. He thought he could determine when Mr. Hyde would appear. But now it is obvious that Mr. Hyde, his evil, was his true nature. And without outside help, Dr. Jekyll would never appear again!
Dr. Jekyll realized that giving evil free reign doesn't allow for goodness. Instead, the evil took over and he couldn't control it anymore. He needed someone to deliver him from his evil. He was so consumed with the sin in his life that he needed someone else to save him.
Adapted from a sermon by Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz Presented on The Lutheran Hour on February 21, 2016
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