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Memo to Demons: “The Gift Box Principle”

In my last memo I began to describe the delicious deception I call “the gift box principle”. Your client’s life (their experiences and circumstances) is the “gift box” but the real point, in the Enemy’s plan, is that they find and enjoy Him in it. Your job is to keep them completely preoccupied with the gift box until they drop into their well-deserved graves.

As I intimated in my last memo, the human scum is easier to keep if they have a pretty gift box, a nice life. When things are good they more easily forget the Enemy because they are delighted with the wrappings. This compromise is regrettable but we must keep our eyes on the end game. You see, if they go through life not wanting Him, He eventually gives way to their demand. Fortunately for us he honors their choice. We have to encourage the right choice. Once here they never want him again.

Far more gratifying for us is if their lives are uncertain and painful. But we play that game at a risk. If we get carried away by the pleasure and think we have them in hand -- devoid of hope, incapable of faith -- they sometimes turn to Him. The wretches see, quite correctly, no other hope. The trick is always to maintain the deception of hope elsewhere while we increase their fears, self-loathing, and pain. Put the thought into their minds that with just a little more effort they will get relief and even the continuous pleasure they instinctively want. I say “instinctively” because He has made them for continuous pleasure and they seem to know that. But it has to be His way and His time or not at all. You see how He is. And as I’ve said elsewhere, He is a hedonist at heart. “In His presence is fullness of joy”. Ugh. Do not let it enter their minds the value of knowing and enjoying Him.

That brings me to an obvious warning: We have lost more to the Enemy through suffering than anything else. It is a delicate balance. If you sense that they are beginning to think of Him, give them momentary relief as quickly as possible. Let them find some solace in a banal television program, a drunken stupor, a sexual conquest, or something like that. We prefer to give them empty and wicked relief. If they are too insulated by the Enemy for that you might even have to allow a legitimate distraction. Things like a beautiful sunset, a day of rest, or even an encouraging exchange with another of their kind, can do the job. But once their thoughts are away from the Enemy carefully return them to their former misery.

If you do this well you can both feed on their misery and rob them of the gift and the gift box. Ultimately their lives without Him will be discarded like used Christmas wrap. I can’t tell you the pleasure I find in that.

Apollyon. (Written in imitation of C. S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters)

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