Screwtape’s Formula

In the digital information era- the overload of all things in-coming and in-forming, our greatest challenge will be content filtering. And it makes sense that if the problem remains the human condition, then no amount of technology can cure the technology onslaught. Our eyes as the gateway, dictated by our soul, will determine our in-formation.

C.S. Lewis captured the tension in his brilliant Screwtape Letters.  The senior devil, Uncle Screwtape, instructs his nephew:

“…we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure,” he writes, “to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker, and least pleasurable. An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula.”

You might want to work off a two-column chart for a week, sticking it in your Bible and reflecting over it in prayer. As technology continues to express our human condition, it’s a good exercise to ask:

1.  What activities do I enjoy that bring contentment? They always yield a therapy of sorts and don’t need an increasing amount of attention.

2.  What activities am I drawn to that used to require one hour but now require two? In what way is there a diminishing satisfaction for an increasing craving?

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I’m reminded of God’s simple invitation:

“Why spend money on what is not bread and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.” (Isaiah 55:2)


Pause and think about the word dialogue for a minute. Too often, we pass it off as mere talking. Conversation. “Pass the ketchup please…..”

Dialogue is a meaningful exchange of perceptions in a nonthreatening climate of support and genuine interest. – H. Stephen Glenn

Genuine dialogue accomplishes two things:

1.  It allows kids to sense that they are meaningful and significant. Someone of interest to them, someone older than they are is engaging them in the thoughtful exchange of ideas

2.  It allows kids to be challenged to deeper levels of perceptions and values. Dialogue therefore requires me to engage with someone of a different experience and knowledge base. If I just link up with a peer, we have very little to offer each other.

Think about a person that naturally engages your child in conversation, someone who stretches them. How might you increase your child’s opportunities and exposure to that person and others like them?

My Kid’s Faith

Three dominant factors influence the future of your child’s spiritual life: 1) your faith journey, 2) your ability to process it with them and 3) their own practice of prayer & Bible reading.

The tension every parent faces is tell them v. show them. Most of us get overwhelmed by the behavioral choices our kids are making. So it’s easy to allow the relationship to get defined by these types of talks- the lowest common denominator. But the gold standard of what kids need remains the same. They must see you pulling away from them because your journey with Jesus is of singular importance- a vacuum that draws them into the great adventure. Secondly, they must have some sort of recurring platform to discuss this with you.
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