We think ourselves “right” when we still need more spiritual maturity. It may be hard but not impossible to be rid of these “spirits.” That is the message that Jesus demonstrates today when he orders the unclean spirit in this man to depart (Mark 1:25-26). Unclean spirits and moods go hand in hand, or maybe they are one and the same. We are all unique with our own personal moods, often not our fault. What unclean spirits do we have? Are we possessed by arrogance, or its abandoned sister, spirit of poor self-image? Are we haunted by fear of failure, or its brother spirit, disappointment?
It is notable that Jesus does not blame the man for his mood. Who of us have not been innocently inflicted with circumstances that leave us, if not depressed, at least cranky? But this need not be. We are to blame if we do nothing and just wallow in self-pity. We can use the words of Jesus to say to our inner voices “Be silent, and come out.” (Mark 1:25) We need not define ourselves by what happens to us. We are not our bad luck. We can take possession of ourselves and instil a new spirit. This is what Jesus offers.