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Satan’s Dirty Laundry

August 23, 2009


Paul taught Timothy in 2nd Timothy chapter 2:26: that Satan ensnares and holds people captive to do his will. C.S. Lewis wrote a very insightful book called “The Screwtape Letters” in which he very creatively writes how Satan might accomplish this. While recently on a mission trip in Guatemala, I heard Chris Wheeler, a youth minister from Brentwood, Tennessee, teach on this same subject but he called the lies Satan uses to ensnare us, his “Dirty Laundry”.  Below is Chris Wheeler’s list of lies along with some of my insights.

Lie #1 – “It’s not that big of a deal”.

This lie goes something like this….”It isn’t that big of deal to get angry and gossip about someone. I’m just venting!”  The important question to ask is whose standard are we using to evaluate if something is a “big deal”?  We too often try to rank sins from “not so bad” to “terrible”.  There is no place in scripture that validates that belief.  To the contrary, in Matthew 5, Jesus teaches that God doesn’t look just at our actions, but also our intent. For example in Matthew 5: 21-22, Jesus teaches there is no difference between murdering someone and being angry with his brother. We need to make sure that we aren’t using our own criteria in determining what is a “big deal”.

Lie #2 – “Everyone else is doing it!”

“It’s not really wrong to download music from the Internet because everyone does it.”  Wow, this one has been around since the beginning of time.  We try to convince ourselves that since other people are doing something, it isn’t really wrong. This lie is so easy to refute, but too often we fall prey to the argument.

Lie #3 – “It’s not hurting anyone”

About eight years ago I had this intense discussion with a young man who maintained that his “cheating” on an exam did not hurt anyone else but himself, therefore it wasn’t wrong. Our integrity is something that only we can create and destroy. This young man couldn’t see the connection between his cheating on a test in high school and my inability to trust him later as a businessman and how this might affect his family and those he works for. Sin always creates a wake that touches other people, and usually it is the people who love us the most.

Lie #4 – “This time it will satisfy”

In this lie, Satan’s ploy is to suggest a way to satisfy a basic God-given longing by seeking instant self-gratification resulting in our eventual destruction.  The man or woman who seeks to fulfill his or her sexual desires by viewing pornography or seeking multiple partners may get pleasure for a moment but it will never give them the satisfaction they could have if they followed God’s plan of intimacy between a man and a woman in a marriage covenant.

Lie #5 – The temptation is too strong”

Paul taught differently in 1 Corinthians 10: 13

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”

This is an excellent verse to memorize and repeat when tempted.

Lie #6 – “Just one more time won’t hurt”

Every time we sin, we move further away from God.  The path to spiritual ruin is paved with one sin after another.  Also, we never know if “this time” our action will cause us to face dire consequences. I’m sure most people who have hurt someone while driving while intoxicated fell prey to this lie.

Lie #7 – “As long as I don’t ____ it’s okay”

You fill in the blank.  This lie puts us in charge of deciding what is okay and what is not which is totally contrary to scripture.  Satan is using our desire to be in control as the premise behind this temptation.  We are deciding the boundaries rather than God.

The Solution

Everyone of us have fallen victim to these lies.  We are masters at rationalizing our behavior. The only way to really win these battles is to daily immerse ourselves in God’s Word.  It is the only true measure of who God calls us to be. When one reads and studies His Word, one can quickly distinguish between the truth and the lies.

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