A Method The Enemy Uses To Divide & Conquer
While writing the book, Collabin’, several things come to mind. Namely, C.S. Lewis’ book The Screwtape Letters. In this book, Lewis gives insight into the methods and strategies the enemy uses to gain a foothold in our lives and to push us farther away from God (this is the Babel strategy from my previous post). For those of you who haven’t read this book, each letter is written by Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood, both of whom are demons that serve Satan. Screwtape, a more learned “tempter” uses each letter to explain to his nephew exactly how to tempt, and otherwise pull his “patient” farther away from the “Enemy” (God). The third letter of the book is concerning “daily pinpricks” or “a good settled habit of mutual annoyance”. Screwtape gives his nephew these 4 methods to use to pull his patient farther from God.
2. Make sure that his prayers are always very ‘spiritual’; that he is always praying for the state of others’ souls and never for physical problems. By doing this, his attention will be kept on what he believes to be their sins, and with a little push from you, he can be made to believe their sins are any of their actions that he finds irritating or annoying.
3. When two humans have worked together for many years they will usually each have tones of voice and facial expressions which the other will find irritating. Let your patient assume that the other person knows how annoying it is and does it to annoy–If you do your job he will never notice the extreme unlikeliness of the assumption. And, of course, never let him suspect that he has tones and looks which also annoy them.
4. In the workplace, hatred is usually expressed by saying things which would appear quite harmless on paper (the words are not offensive) but in such a voice, or at such a moment, that they are not far short of a slap in the face. Your patient must demand that all of his own words are to be taken at their face value and judged simply on the actual words, while at the same time judging all of their words with the fullest and most over-sensitive interpretation of the tone and the context and the assumed intention. Hence from every quarrel they can both go away convinced, or very nearly convinced, that they are quite innocent. Once this habit is quite firm, you have the delightful situation of a human saying things with the purpose of offending and yet having an injury when offense is taken.
This is just four different ways of one method that the enemy uses against us every day. By causing us to constantly be annoyed with people we are working with, which in turn builds up inside of us until we can no longer work with the other person at all. Be aware. Don’t let the enemy use this strategy against you friend!
For more on The Screwtape Letters, check out http://www.gutenberg.ca/ebooks/lewiscs-screwtapeletters/lewiscs-screwtapeletters-00-h.html.
For more on my upcoming book Collabin’: The Connectivity Challenge watch for regular updates on my Blog: Preacher with a Mission.