What kinds of strategies can the devil use to lead us away from the only true God? Let’s play a consultant to the hypothetical demon Screwtape (the demon from C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters) and design some tricks of our own.
1. Screwtape and his friends have been on earth since the creation of mankind. They have pretty good memory and ways to communicate among themselves quickly.
2. They are able to influence a person’s thoughts, but not able to completely control the person under most situations.
3. They cannot foresee the future.
4. In many circumstances, they can cause things to happen (e.g., falling rocks, flying guitars…).
5. Their goal is to get people to turn away from the real God. They are successful when a person dies without being saved by Jesus Christ.
1. A kid is trying to learn fortune telling.
2. A man is trying to find out why he is afraid of mirrors (he suspects that it may be the result of his previous life).
3. A good-hearted woman is looking for ways to help others.
4. A science student thinks that Bible is unscientific and unworthy of his time.
5. A Christian sees a Buddhist who goes around and help people, while her Christian friend ignores the plea of mercy by his debtor.
6. A Christian goes around claiming that wealth is the proof of God’s blessings.
7. A Christian goes around claiming that he is a changed person in Christ, though in reality he is no better than a non-Christian.
8. A child is frequently abused by his father who claims to be a Christian.
Do many of these tricks sound commonplace to you? Has any of these things happened to you? How can you prevent yourself from falling into Screwtape’s traps? Do these scenarios help you understand why many things are the way they are?
Quote of the Day:
Remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from [God]. It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. . . The safest road to Hell is the gradual one — the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.
from The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis