I them for what they really are, which

            I found the way Screwtape talked about sin to be one of
the most interesting parts of this work. I do not know how C.S. Lewis thought
of all of the insights into sin that he put into The Screwtape Letters, but
they are all very true and ways in which I would have never thought of. The way
Screwtape takes a new approach to sin, in making the person think they are just
being picky, or making them feel they deserve to have things, while really,
they are sinning without realizing it. The topic of sin is one I find to be
under-written and talked about, so I enjoyed seeing how such a distinguished
writer discussed it.

            In the second letter, which is the first when the Patient
is a Christian, is the when sin is first really talked about. Screwtape says
that the Patient should look at his fellow church-goers and see them for what
they really are, which is imperfect people. He should expect them to be perfect
because they are Christians, and so he should be disappointed in them. This may
seem like something that is not really a sin, but the second commandment is to
love thy neighbor as thy self, and so it is indeed a sin to judge those other
church-goers, rather than loving them. I find this a sin that many fall into,
and it is one that many might not see as Screwtape talking about sin at all. The
third letter talks about sin more outright, telling Wormwood to use the Patient’s
mother as a tool to get the Patient into sin. The mother’s demon, Glubose, is a
good person to work with to get them both into sin. Screwtape suggests getting
them to see each other’s faults so that they get annoyed, and so they do not
see their own faults. This will make them fight in a way that they see the argument
only from their own point of view so that they never reach a resolution. This is
another sin in the way of not loving thy neighbor.

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            Later in the letters, in letter 9, Screwtape suggests
another type of sin, sexual immorality. This sin is one that Screwtape says is
easy to fall into when “in a trough.” He says that this will also help to keep
the Patient from realizing the bad times he is in are temporary, as well as
keep him in the trough, and convince him the Christian time was just a phase,
not a life change. He suggests getting the Patient into the sin by the natural
urges, and that will lead to an addiction that will keep him in the trough, as
he will not fall in love if he is in the bad times making bad choices.
Screwtape, in the next letter, suggests getting the Patient to keep friends
that are not Christians, as, though he does not realize it, those friends are a
temptation, and the judgement of them is a sin too easy to fall into, as well
as the temptation to fall into the sin they are in. I found this view of sin to
be all to relatable, as it is difficult to love your neighbor that is in sin, and
to love them through it. It is also a big temptation to be able to love them,
while being different to them. Being friends with someone that is not a
Christian when you are creates a lot of temptation to behave like they do, even
when you have been called to higher.

            Throughout the letters, Screwtape suggests sin in a way
that seems innocent. That is his strategy. He wants the sin to seem like
something that is following the rules, when in fact it is breaking them. For
instance, when Screwtape speaks of gluttony, he tells of the mother’s gluttony,
which she thinks is not sin. This is because she does not overindulge, but
wants everything just so, and so she sends things back and complains that it
must not be so hard to just make it correctly as the help makes it seem. She is
so picky that it leads to a lot of wasted food. She is not gluttonous in the
traditional Augustus Gloop (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory reference) fashion,
but in that she is not appreciative of the food she has, and is so picky over
her food that she is snooty about it. This is a sin I see all the time in the
world, as food is so available that people have started to say some things are
not good enough for them. People are avoiding gluten for no reason other than
it is trendy to do so. Gluttony has many forms, and the disguise described by
Screwtape is one I have seen work on many people in today’s society.

            Sin is commonly understood to be the breaking of the
commandments given to us by God. That is true, but they have been interpreted
too closely, and they have been taught about too little. People are ignoring
the commandments that are hard to follow, and are trying to interpret them in a
way that allows them to do what they want to, rather than what they should. Sin
is a topic many avoid talking about, as it is not easy to tell someone what
they should or should not do when we are indeed called not to judge. It is a
hard subject, and so it is not talked about. Sin has turned into a topic that
is up to interpretation, when in fact God gave us instructions on how to behave
in order to glorify him. The interpretation should be about what God really
meant by it, not what we can get away with. This work shows us how those interpretations
allow the Devil to slip into our lives and pull us away from God. We must work
to understand what God meant by his commandments so that we can live how we are
meant to, not live how we want to while still expecting the rewards of


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