Thursday, January 15, 2009

Screwtape Letters (Letter XII)

The Screwtape Letters put an interesting twist on the way we interpret the devil and how he intervenes in our lives. We don't often think of sin from the devil's perspective. The Screwtape Letters are very erie to me because I find as I read them that I am guilty of giving into some of the temptations that Wormwood is feeding to his patient. There are times when I go days without reading my bible or make church nothing more than a habit. There are times when I falter but justify my actions by saying "it's ok, I'm still a Christian". Lewis uses reverse psychology in The Screwtape Letters to teach a lesson to all of us of what Christianity should look like.

From letter XII I particularly like the line, "He must not be allowed to suspect that he is now, however slowly, heading right away from the sun on a line which will carry him into the cold and dark of utmost space." I think a lot of the time we give into temptation and sin knowingly without thinking of the consequences. We may hesitate to sin at first but once we give in we do not realize that by allowing ourselves to sin just that one time that the next time the opportunity presents itself to sin we will not be so hesitant to take it. Walking away from the Lord is a slow but very dangerous process that is usually not a result of intentional actions. It simply "happens" and we wake up one day completely alone, drowning in sin, wondering what happened to our faith and where God is in the midst of everything.

The Screwtape Letters put everything into perspective. The devil knows us well. He knows our weaknesses so it is up to us to recognize the devil for what he is and resist his temptations. The most important thing I gained from this reading is that we are nothing without Christ. We cannot stand up to the devil without Christ and we certainly cannot resist temptation without Christ's guiding hand in our lives. Life is so hectic. There is always somewhere to go, someone to see, and something to do that we get distracted from what is really important. Nothing on earth is more important than our relationship with our heavenly father. I need to focus on my weaknesses and get rid of the distractions in my life so my focus can stay solely on Christ.

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