Screwtape’s Influence

I feel like my life reads back to me like an extra chapter of the Screwtape Letters sometimes.

It all starts with me feeling grateful for being called to walk the “hard line”, for basking in revelations of grace over legalism and love over fear. I am strong and sure in my identity, in my love for my Savior and my hope for the future.

Then, secret thoughts (disguised as truth) begin to grow, unbeknownst to me, planted there by a foreign enemy too clever to overlook.  And, suddenly, I am not so sure anymore; the lines that used to be starkly drawn begin to blur, but I’m not yet aware of its happening.

With just enough truth, any line of thought can begin to confuse, until, eventually, I become aware that there’s a war in my mind and begin to participate.  Except, what now is truth and what is born of revelation, and what has been planted and growing without my permission?  Which line of thought is it, then, that I am arguing?

I cannot think. 

If I loved Him, I would obey Him.  He has given us a spirit of self-discipline, powered by His own Spirit.  I cannot love Him without Him giving me the power to do so.  I should try harder.  It shouldn’t be such work.  I cannot sacrifice without desire.  I can’t have desire unless He gives it to me.  I’m not doing enough.  I cannot handle anymore.  I can’t be who He wants to me to be, I don’t want to be anyone but.

I cannot focus. 

Condemnation has been my lifelong companion, shame it’s bosom friend.  I am harder on myself than anyone could be on me.  I create disappointment in faces where it never existed.  In such a fertile ground for harsh personal judgment, who is to know the difference between conviction and condemnation?  Guilt is guilt, it’s not prettier in one shade over another.

I cannot tolerate this.

I am not angry, I am exhausted.   I am not faithless, I am afraid.   I am not turning my back, I am losing grip.   Where will I fall to?   Maybe falling is the whole point?

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