Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Screwtape Letters

The Screwtape letters is a series of letters written by C.S. Lewis.  They are letters from Screwtape, a devil of Satan, to his nephew Wormwood, his nephew.  Screwtape suggests his nephew Wormwood on how to lead his “patient”, through small habit forming changes, on a safe road to damnation.

Screwtape starts off the letter by saying that Wormwood is making excellent progress on his ‘patient’.  He then goes on to warn against moving him with temptations too quickly.  This is a very slow process if it is to work.  I think that we can apply this to our lives because we too stray from the Christian path slowly.  It may start with not going to church once on a Sunday, then a few weeks later again, then a week later again until it becomes so frequent that the person just stops going.  This is a slow process for it to work and for other people to not notice.  If it happens fast, then the person’s friends might be able to help him get on the right track.  This is why it has to happen slowly.

Screwtape also mentions that if the ‘patient’ keeps doing the external works of a Christian,  he could inwardly be driven from it.  I find this true in our own lives as well.  So often we go through the motions of praying before we eat and going to church while our minds are elsewhere.  We don’t usually think that this is Satan tempting us, but it is.  We need to always be on the lookout watching for temptations.  We must also put our hearts into the things of Christ such as paying attention when we read the Bible, sing, and pray, being glad when Sunday comes to go to church, and looking for God in all that we do.

Towards the end, Screwtape makes the point of saying that it doesn’t matter how small the sins are.  “Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick.”  We must be weary of the little sins that we commit because they can lead to bigger and bigger ones.

I believe that C.S. Lewis wrote the Screwtape letters to make people aware of the real battle that is going on.  We must constantly be on the lookout for temptations and sins.  Satan never rests or takes a nap.  He is always working to get at us.  Therefore, we must always be working too to fight him.

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