First I'd like to thank Erica for inviting me read Screwtape Letters and participate in this study. So far I'm enjoying the story, and the Lord is convicting me of some of the ways I let Satan work in my life. I can't wait to see what else He has to teach me through this book.
For those of you who haven't met me, I'm Annie P. and I'm 17. I live in a small town in Nebraska, and I've been homeschooled for most of my life (I'm finishing up my junior year of high school). Okay, enough about me...
The Lord really impacted me with something I read in chapter 2. I found the section on page 12 about appearances quite convicting. In case you don't remember, Screwtape is telling Wormwood to use appearances to trip up his person and distract him from the Body of Christ. Instead of viewing the neighbors in his pew as brothers and sisters in Christ, Wormwood wants his person to see their imperfections.
This got me thinking. As humans why do we get so caught up in outward appearances? Well the simple answer is because we are human. But as Christians we need to focus on a person's heart more so than what they look like on the outside. The Holy Spirit can't work through us until we learn to disregard outward appearances. I'm not saying that the outside doesn't matter (because it does: it reflects what's in a person's heart), but we can't let our opinion of them be ruled by what they look like.
I'm finding that the enemy uses outward appearances to trip me up quite often. As hard as this is to admit, I'm finding that I'm guilty of judging people in our church based primarily on what they look like on the outside or how they act. This is exactly what Screwtape was trying to get Wormwood to do. I don't want to let the enemy have victory in this area of my life anymore. I want to see the heart of these people in my church.
"But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth: for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." 1st Samuel 16:7
"Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that as he is Christ's, even so are we Christs." 2 Corinthians 10:7