It’s All Just a Mathematical Equation

The devil wants to divide us. It’s as simple as that. As simple as a mathematical equation, but one that has devastating consequences.

As Catholic Christians, who have been taught that evil spirits flee “in the name of Jesus,” we should know better than to fall prey to his divisions, as should the leaders in our church. We should all be proclaiming daily, “In the name of Jesus I renounce the spirit of_______ !” Yet as human beings we ignore the signs in front of us. We too often welcome evil spirits into our relationships, both at home and in our communities. We easily fall prey to apathy when faced with difficult decisions and the possibility of persecution in defending the faith. We are too easily tempted to just appease the mob in the name of remaining neutral or hoping not to be labeled “one of those Christians.”

We have a world full of division, apathy, and betrayals because we have a world full of weakness. We tend to exalt ourselves — often in the name of God — instead of exalting and glorifying Him. Narcissism and greed silently creep in, and before you know it, you have people with puffed-up chests telling everyone how holy and therefore wonderful they are. Buyer beware of the seller who sells his soul to live in a world carefully constructed for the purpose of making himself feel important. He stands on sinking sand, and if you’re not paying attention and praying for discernment, you’ll be sinking along with him. It is sickening to see, and yet we must ask ourselves: am I the seller on sinking sand? Am I the apathetic one following blindly?

When you look around at the betrayals on a global scale, the likes of which we have not seen since WWII, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and let fear take over. Can you even imagine what the world would be like if Jesus let fear take over? If He walked away from the cross? He could have walked away, and who would have blamed Him? But He didn’t. He picked up His cross and walked the grueling walk to Calvary. He picked up His cross and chose to die for you and for me. He wasn’t concerned with popularity. He was concerned for our souls. Jesus never worried about saying what was popular or politically correct, or about being liked. He concerned himself with helping, healing, teaching, reviving, speaking the truth, and saving you and me. Jesus loved everyone. He spoke to everyone. He wanted to save everyone . . . even when they hated Him.

Christ is with us even when we are not with Him. Let that sink in. We can spend a lifetime betraying Him. We can walk so far away from God that it seems an eternity would not be enough time to find our way back. But here’s the thing — finding our way back is simply taking one step in God’s direction. One step. That is all it takes for God to be there to carry us the rest of the way, if we only take one step in His direction.

No matter how many failures or betrayals we may have committed against God, He is truly right there with us, even when we have not been there with Him. He is truly one step away. One. Step. Away. Jesus was there when the multitudes were hungry and there were only five fish and five loaves of bread. The disciples assumed there was nothing to be done. There was no way in their minds to feed the crowds. But Jesus knew it was just a simple mathematical equation. All He needed to do was to multiply the loaves and fish.

We again need to ask ourselves as we look at our broken world, both here at home and abroad: are we dividing our families, communities, and nation? Or are we choosing the path of Christ, taking up our cross, and multiplying acts of kindness, moments of defending the faith, and moments of standing in, walking, and speaking the truth? Will you be a multiplier or a divider? Will you seek to be Christ’s hands and feet, and most importantly His heart, here on earth? Would you be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for love of family, community, and our nation?

Do you ever wonder what it will be like at the end of your life? Will we get to the gates of heaven only to have St. Peter tell us, “I’m sorry, but you betrayed Christ too many times with your words and the things you’ve done or failed to do. There is no room for you here now because you didn’t make room for Christ.” If only this wondering would hit us in those moments right before our own betrayals of Christ or failures in life. If it did hit us, but our stubborn will ignored it, may humility cover us next time . . . and then again . . . and again.

So please, for the sake of your soul and the souls of your family and friends, do not forget that the devil wants to divide us. It’s as simple as that. As simple as a mathematical equation, but one with devastating consequences. Remember too, and even more importantly, that God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is a multiplier. Providing for our every need, God gives us daily Manna from Heaven, and sustains us as we carry our crosses in this life.

So ask yourself, am I a multiplier or a divider? Do I welcome evil spirits into my home, business, and community? Or will I be bold and courageous and say with conviction, “In the Name of Jesus Christ I renounce the spirit of____!”

Will we, in these trouble times, be dividers or multipliers? Will we choose to pick up our crosses? Will we help others carry theirs? Or will we turn a blind eye? Choose wisely, and pray for discernment, as your soul depends on it. Then be who God needs you to be for your families and your community. It’s as simple as that. As simple as a mathematical equation.

Karen Eriksson-Lee About Karen Eriksson-Lee

Karen Eriksson-Lee is the Author of Walking Through Mud, published in Homiletic and Pastoral Review April 2019, founding President of the Board and Artistic Director for the 501c3 Nonprofit Living By His Grace Ministries, and a Student Support Coach in the Virginia Public School System.

Eriksson-Lee holds a Bachelor of Science for Dance with a Minor in Psychology from Shenandoah University, and a Master's of Education and Curriculum from Shippensburg University.

She was formerly a Special Education Counselor for Seton Home Study, Founder and Artistic Director of the Northern Virginia Academy of Ballet, and former faculty member at the world-renowned Central PA Youth Ballet under the Artistic Direction of the late Marcia Dale Weary.

Eriksson-Lee is the proud mother of three — Nastassia, Alexander, and Marlene — mother-in-law to Garret, and grandmother to sweet little Nolan and Oliver.


  1. Avatar P Thomas McGuire says:

    I am puzzled by your mathematical formula. We, like all past generations of humans , live in a time of great threats to life. We are filled with fear and doubt. The image that came to me in reading your article was the disciples in the boat during a terrible storm. Is there an X factor in your formula for the real fear of being in the boat, seeing Jesus, but not seeing any change in the danger of the storm? Living in the storm of violence is living in a dark night in which there appears no light. Fear and doubt may be X factors, still like in the Book of Lamentations one can be faithful, even when the voice of God is not heard.

  2. Interesting thoughts Thomas – I’m sorry you’re confused by my piece. It’s simple really, and nothing more than what it says – we can divide or multiply in our families and communities. If we keep our eyes on Christ in the storm we can renounce the spirit of fear, pick up our personal crosses, and multiply acts of kindness, charity, and grace despite the troubled waters we find ourselves in. Hope this helps.