“Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ: Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”
Jude 1:1-3 NKJV
Suppose you were the devil. Your job is to tempt people and to keep them from making right choices. You want to make people miserable and eventually to carry off their souls to a really, really bad place. What would you do?
Well, you’d probably want to make them believe there was no such thing as right or wrong, right? If they didn’t believe in right or wrong, it would be easier to convince them to do wrong, wouldn’t it?
There would probably still be some people who believed that some things were right and some things were wrong. You’d want to keep them from learning which choices were right, wouldn’t you? If they couldn’t figure out which thing was the right thing to do, it would be easier to convince them to do wrong, wouldn’t it?
Now suppose there were still some people who had figured out which choices were right and which choices were wrong. Well, if you were the devil, you’d probably try hard to convince them to do the wrong thing anyway, wouldn’t you?
Even if there were some people who believed in right and wrong and knew which choices were right and which choices were wrong, yet chose to do the right thing in spite of all your temptations, you’d do everything in your power to keep them from sharing what they knew with other people, wouldn’t you?
Aren’t those the things you would do if you were in the devil’s shoes? Doesn’t that sound surprisingly like what the devil really does? He tries to make people think there’s no such thing as right or wrong. He works hard to keep people from figuring out what’s right to do. He tries to convince people to do the wrong thing, even when they know what the right choice is. And he tries to keep those people who make right choices from sharing what they know with other people.
Unfortunately, the devil’s strategy works with a lot of people. But now that you know what he’s trying to do, you’re not going to let him get away with it, are you? You’re going to “contend for the faith” (Jude 1:3, NIV), aren’t you? You’re going to “give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15, NIV), aren’t you? You’re going to share what you’ve learned about right and wrong “in a gentle and respectful way” (1 Peter3:16), aren’t you?
Well, of course you are.
REFLECT: What four things does the devil want to do, according to the paragraphs above? Has his strategy ever worked with you?
ACT: Ask your parents or pastor to let you borrow a copy of C. S. Lewis’s book The Screwtape Letters. It describes Satan’s strategy in great detail (read especially the second chapter).
PRAY: “Jesus, help me to share what I’ve learned about right and wrong in a gentle and respectful way.”