Thus said Screwtape, the shrewd demon mentor, to Wormwood, the demon-in-training, in C.S. Lewis’ classic The Screwtape Letters.
I think Screwtape was onto something.
Self-help and success experts have long preached the virtue of acting in ways that are consistent with our desired outcomes.
- If we want to be musicians we must tune our guitars.
- If we want to be writers we must write.
- If we want life-giving relationships we must invest in them.
- If we want to be godly we must actively pursue the things of God.
Tony Robbins internalized that sentiment and applied it to our emotional health when he said, “Motion creates emotion.”
- Projecting a confident demeanor jump-starts our confidence.
- Acting in a kindly manner stimulates kindness.
- Responding in humility stirs up more humility.
- Expressing gratitude creates a grateful heart.
- Worshipping God ignites a hunger for more of God.
It’s easy to be led and controlled by the circumstances around us; however, the New Testament mark of spiritual maturity is the consistent decision to be led by the Spirit versus any other tour guides (Romans 8:4, 14; Galatians 5:16).
When we increasingly become men and women of truth, paying greater credence to the reality of God’s Word than the shifting seasons around us, we are on our way to a happier internal state and a greatly fortified future.
Let’s take a moment to identify the descriptive phrases that we hope will be lauded on us at our funerals and commit to living those phrases now—even if we have to pretend our way to reality.