Let Him Do Anything But Act

C.S. LewisThe masterful C.S. Lewis wrote  a collection of letters between between a couple of demons, attempting to give insights into the realities of the spiritual world and our human existence. The Screwtape Letters although fictional, provides poignant insights into the true realities of following of Jesus Christ.

This  letter is from the Uncle (and mentor demon) Screwtape to his nephew, a demon in training on his first assignment to distract a new Christian away from a fruitful life for Christ. This new Christian has been on a roller-coaster in his journey, but has recently savored a couple of positive pleasures (reading a good book and a walk in the country). These moments actually paved the way for the direct presence of God with the Christian.

Screwtape chastizes his nephew for allowing such pleasures as they are truly gifts from their Enemy (God) and create a conduit for relationship between the two.

In this letter, Screwtape shares with his mentee a snippet of how much God thinks of each Christian on the planet:

“Remember always, that He [God] really likes the little vermin [humans], and sets an absurd value on the distinctiveness of everyone of them.”*

Later Screwtape shares this insightful bit of demonic strategy about the new Christian’s mind, emotions, and obedience:

The great thing is to prevent his doing anything. As long as he does not convert it into action, it does not matter how much he thinks about this new repentance. Let the little brute wallow in it. Let him, if he has any bent that way, write a book about it; that is often an excellent way of sterilizing the seeds which the Enemy [God] plants in a human soul. Let him do anything but act. No amount of piety in his imagination and affections will harm us if we can keep it out of his will. As one of the humans has said, active habits are strengthened by repetition but passive ones are weakened.  The more often he feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel.

Your affectionate uncle,
Screwtape*

(*From Letter 13  in The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis)

take-action

So the question for you and I  is:

What is it today that is floating around in my head, that I feel or know I should do for God, but I’m delaying on doing it?

Let’s take action!

Let’s develop the habit of obedience!

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