My Evil Twins

Posted by on Sep 22, 2013 in Humility | 12 comments



They come to visit frequently, and admittedly mostly by invitation. No matter how hard I try to keep them under wraps, I’m forced to admit they’re my evil twins.

Every time they come to visit I cringe. I know what they represent. They terrorize my orderly house. They infiltrate my closet where unfortunately, they fit into everything I own. Parading around town people mistake them for me. It’s horrifying.

I try to suggest they just keep a low profile. You know – at least keep their mouths closed. We discuss proper manners like, ‘speak when you’re spoken to’ or ‘be seen and not heard’. But their tendency is to leave their mark wherever they go. They crave influence. Somehow it makes them feel worthy. They thrive on safe superiority. But the superiority comes at the expense of people they meet, even people they don’t know. When they flourish, I diminish.

Don’t get me wrong – we are close. I just prefer to keep them in their place. We love to commiserate behind closed doors. It’s the public presence that kills me.

If you see them – please don’t acknowledge them. Don’t entertain them.

Their names are Cynicism and Criticism. They do serve a purpose – but not to you. My evil twins are good for one thing. When they surface in my life I know I have some digging to do. Some re-outfitting of my wardrobe.

Their whispers and quiet influence can be hushed by inviting other guests to visit instead. Truth and Mercy belong in my home. My closet should be a comfortable place for them. Truth and Mercy know how to speak in public. They’re welcomed by my community. I don’t need to hide them or be ashamed of them.

My evil twins do have an innate ability to activate my heart gauge though. Their whispers and subtle influence allow me to consider the deep secret places of my heart. They are a warning light to my soul. When tempted to extend an invitation to them, I remember the sweetness of my better guests.


Each one had a strong opinion as I passed a young couple and their baby begging on the street corner near my supermarket.

Cynicism started the dialogue with, “Good choice guys – no one begs in our town. You should make a killing”. Criticism chimed in, “The dad looks healthy to me, healthy enough to work”.

But as I stared at their baby, Truth reminded me that they were exactly why I was here. They were no more or less loved than me – no matter why they were begging. Mercy softly guided my car to a stop as Cynicism and Criticism slithered away in the shadows.

Mercy mends. Truth stands. My heart swells with peace.


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  1. Love this! Especially this line: “They thrive on safe superiority. But the superiority comes at the expense of people they meet, even people they don’t know”

    • Thanks so much for chiming in, Leanne. Appreciate it a lot.

  2. “Each one had a strong opinion…” so true! Such a commentary on internal conversations…so glad your ‘better guests’ won.

    • This time, at least! Thanks for reading friend.

  3. An honest conversation – I have the same evil twins, Pat.

    “A warning light to my soul”

    Mercy mends – this is so true! I love your heart – Leah

    • Thanks Leah. Love your heart too.

  4. Wow, Pat, gutsy stuff. Thanks for putting into words what my mind often repeats to me. Thanks for naming the evil twins as well as the good twins!!! Your words always touch my heart and soul. Thank you, dear Sister.

    • You should have heard the conversations going on that evening and the next day, Cindy. All the cousins showed up!

      Life is messy and the heart complex, but God is always good.

  5. We who are called to do good works IN HIS NAME will always struggle with the “evil twins.” How did this happen to them, why did this happen, and what, if anything should I do about their plight? When we are faced with these situations and the GOOD TWINS visit us we respond like our Lord with mercy and truth and leave the results to Him. Jesus always touched those He met while walking this earth with compassion yet, instructed them to go and sin no more. I think we should carry a tract like we use to in the “good old days,” for such a time as this.Love your heart of compassion!

    • I can hear your voice through your words Jeannie – you’re forever a preacher. Little and mighty, you are!

  6. Hi Pat! I’m visiting from #TellHisStory! this was so beautifully written. our tendency to judge and make assumptions about each other is a huge character flaw. And we all struggle with it. I always pray compassion for those I’d wrongfully judge at first glance. Thank you for reminding me to keep my twins in check.

    • Hello Lisha! Isn’t Jennifer Dukes Lee amazing? I read your post too and can tell you have a story women need to hear. From one ‘mercy dependent’ soul to the other – I’m honored you stopped by. I love your heart and hope to read more from you.