I’m so excited for today’s 30 Day Book Challenge. I’ve been dying to share about C.S. Lewis’s “The Screwtape Letters.” I honestly, sincerely wish more people would read this book.
This book is a compilation of the correspondence from Screwtape, a senior tempter in the service of “Our Father Below” to Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man. Through the letters, I was constantly reminded and made to think about how the devil tempts us.
Apparently, Screwtape’s cunning plans were not centred on obvious sins we often consider (i.e., The Ten Commandments). Instead, the tempters focus on much more subtle sins like vanity, pride, distraction, insincerity, and procrastination. Ultimately, they do not care what sins are committed by their subjects – as long as they fulfil their goal of separating people from God. In fact, they seem to prefer more subtle and hidden means of leading people astray because the less aware people are, the more likely the tempers are likely to succeed. Wait. What? I literally reflected on my life while reading this book to realise how easily I fell pray to their convoluted tricks!
I wish more people would read this book to be more aware of how the devil works among us. This book made me recognise that just like Heaven, Hell is real and Satan does exists. In fact, he is persistently looking for possible “recruits” and deceiving people by suggesting different lies in our minds to keep us from turning to God. It was painfully amazing to see things from the “demons” perspective and how they manipulate us away from God. I was guilty as charged for many things mentioned. Who am I kidding? This fictional book gave me a freaking punch in the gut! It was like holding a mirror and seeing things I didn’t want to see.
One of the best points Lewis made is that the “Father Below’s” main temptation is to keep us from thinking for ourselves, to go along with the crowd and to do what “the smart, the pretty, the bold and the powerful” say we should do. For a book first published more than 70 years ago (in 1942), isn’t it amazing that these lessons are even more pertinent to us now?
In addition, I found this list in the world wide web (Credits to Pharocattle). Apparently, if Satan were to write his beatitudes, it would look something like this. And, this were the exact advice that Screwtape was giving Wormwood.
- Blessed are those who are too tired, too busy, too distracted to spend an hour once a week with their fellow Christians – they are my best workers.
- Blessed are the Christians who wait to be asked and expect to be thanked – I can use them.
- Blessed are the touchy who stop going to church — they are my missionaries.
- Blessed are the trouble makers – they shall be called my children.
- Blessed are the complainers – I’m all ears to them.
- Blessed are those who are bored with the minister’s mannerisms and mistakes – for they get nothing out of his sermons.
- Blessed is the church member who expects to be invited to his own church – for he is a part of the problem instead of the solution.
- Blessed are those who gossip – for they shall cause strife and divisions that please me.
- Blessed are those who are easily offended – for they will soon get angry and quit.
- Blessed are those who do not give their offering to carry on God’s work – for they are my helpers.
- Blessed is he who professes to love God but hates his brother and sister – for he shall be with me forever.
- Blessed are those who, when they read this, think it is about other people and not themselves — I’ve got them too!
Now, tell me, who among us aren’t guilty as charged?
Plus, C.S. Lewis wrote it in a wildly hilarious, deadly serious, and strikingly original manner. It was very insightful, engaging and enlightening. You don’t even have to be religious or a Christian to enjoy the book. But, if you are a practicing Christian hoping to understand how the forces of darkness try to undermine our lives, I’d say that this book is a must read. Actually, this is the best place to start the rest of C.S. Lewis’s books too. It’s honest and poignant but not as heavy as his other religious books (i.e. Mere Christianity, The Four Loves, A Grief Observed, etc). So, do read it and tell me what you think!
And, for more books you have to read, please check my best friend Cumuloquoise‘s page. I must say, you have to know what book she needs more people to read. After all, I do agree with her too. Tata! ❤