A Pseudo-Screwtape Epistle: Vulnerable Affections

My dearest Wormwood,

Your patient cannot figure out what exactly to write about, how you, his tempter goes after him. He is too afraid to plumb the depths of his heart — to trace his steps, his patterns — your claw prints all over them. The Enemy warns him to be watchful and sober-minded because we prowl around like roaring lions, seeking someone to devour. This is true.

The Enemy has also warned your man that we have been liars from the beginning — and that we have been sent to steal, kill, and to destroy.

Nevertheless, you would do well to aim at him, where he is most vulnerable — his affections. His heart’s hands go after those things, and stay away from those things that appear to him most pleasing, or unpleasing to his taste.

So, as far as it depends on you, keep his heart’s eyes away from the Son’s light, that he may grope for those things that appear most satisfying to his cravings.

Keep away from his mind those terrifying words: “Fear not, for I am with you…” Fear is that little dark room where we want him all his days. Keep him sitting there — thinking he is all alone, on his own. This is what will happen: he will be discontent with all the Enemy has handed him: wife, family, home, church, and most importantly, Himself. And so, with this discontent, otherwise known as unbelief, your patient will no longer seek after the Enemy first, and His kingdom. Instead, he will go after created things.

Show him these other pleasures will keep him happy forever. Keep him questioning his Father’s care for his life. He will then, finally, leave the Enemy’s light-filled territory altogether. He will turn inward, and depend on his emotions as the final authority for gauging truth. These feelings will toss his little boat to and fro against the tide of the Enemy’s promises. Show him since the storms in his life are all the Enemy’s doing, there is no good in His purposes.

Your Infectionate Uncle,

Screwtape


Inspired by The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash