Cheer UP! Podcast

Family Dynamics and Spiritual Warfare: Insights from C.S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters

June 28, 2023 Cheer UP! Podcast Season 3 Episode 117
Cheer UP! Podcast
Family Dynamics and Spiritual Warfare: Insights from C.S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters
Cheer UP! Podcast
Become a supporter of the show!
Starting at $3/month
Support
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Get ready to unravel the profound distinction between joy and happiness in our fascinating exploration of the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. As we journey through this captivating collection of hellish correspondences, we'll share how joy can be a divine blessing, even in the face of life's darkest challenges. We'll dive into the heart of these timeless letters, giving you valuable insights into family dynamics, spiritual warfare, and the pitfalls of focusing too much on others' sins. 

We'll maneuver our way through tricky family relationships, exploring how they can often become a battlefield for spiritual warfare. Learn how to sidestep the power plays and strife often associated with family gatherings, and how to seek divine guidance to navigate these often stressful interactions. We'll also dig deep into the importance of nurturing your relationship with God, highlighting the value of a spiritual growth plan and the reassurance of finding peace and joy in the midst of life's trials. Our next episode will broach the topic of sincere prayer - a segment you won't want to miss. So, buckle up as we continue our engaging and enlightening journey through the Screwtape Letters.

Support the show

Would you like to support the Cheer UP! Podcast? You can do so by clicking here

Kara's website - click here.
Cheri's website- here.
Email - cheeruppodcast@gmail.com
Instagram - @kararhunt
Leave reviews on - Apple, Spotify, iHeart, Google Podcasts,

Speaker 1:

Hi and welcome to the Cheer Up podcast. I am your host, kara R Hunt, and with me is the awesome Sherry Swalwell, awesome author and speaker and novelist and devotion. Writer Sherry Swalwell. How are you today, sherry? I am great.

Speaker 2:

How are you, Kara? You sound filled with joy today. Are you blessed to be alive?

Speaker 1:

I am blessed to be alive. I am just blessed period, just blessed period, and I have I guess you know the phrase would be I have unspeakable joy this morning, just that joy that just kind of comes from the inside. Now it doesn't mean that everything in my life is perfect right now, okay You know. But that's what unspeakable joy is. It's like your joy is and you have no other reason for it, except God has been good to you, amen.

Speaker 2:

That's the difference between joy and happiness, isn't it?

Speaker 1:

Right, you know, because happiness can be based on circumstances.

Speaker 1:

Oh, that made me happy. You know when that happened and you know and everything else. And joy, true joy just kind of comes from, regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the situations and other people, situations and stuff around you, that you still have joy. And yeah, and it's just like I have that and I'm just wanting to enjoy that joy, like enjoy with a small jay, the joy with the big jay that the Lord is blessing me with and everything else And life knows, because we all know life will throw us limits at any given time. So those times when that joy just kind of overflows in you, i'm like you just want to take advantage of it. Right, you just want to do your joy jigs.

Speaker 2:

You know joy dances, you know.

Speaker 1:

So God is so good. And for those of you who are just now tuning in to the Cheer Up podcast, welcome, thank you for coming back. We want to thank all of our listeners, all of you who are global, who are in the States Those are loyal listeners. When we see the sets that show up every time and everything else, we just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you for being with us for three seasons And we pray that you continue to be with us for many, many, many, many more. And if you're new to Cheer Nation, then we just want to say hi and welcome and thank you for giving us a try. And for all of you, we would just ask that you don't make sure you download and like the episodes, the episodes as you listen to them. That just helps the algorithm, so to speak, for people and your friends and you know and everything else. Hey, someone's listening to this. So this may be something that you may be interested in, and if it's ministering to you and if it's blessing you in any way, then please share it and let people know about it, and we are just so, so grateful for all of you that have already been sharing it and downloading it and subscribing to it and sharing it on social media. So thank you for that. This is our last episode for the month of June, but it is not the last episode for the series that we are doing. So for those of you who are just tuning in and this is the first of the, the, the that your time you're tuning in from June 7th to the end of August we are covering topics that have been covered in a classic literature book by C S Lewis Lewis, as in L E W I S C S Lewis You may know him from the the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and books like that.

Speaker 1:

This particular book that we are covering is called the Screwtape Letters. It was, i believe, originally purchased. It published originally published in 1941. And it is exactly pretty much what it says it is. It is letters from a demon named Screwtape to his nephew, another demon named Warmwood. So there are letters. That's why they're called the Screwtape, the Screwtape letters. It is Uncle Screwtape writing letters to his nephew Warmwood.

Speaker 1:

Uncle Screwtape is a higher ranking demon in hell, so to speak, and he's just. He's up there and he's mentoring his young nephew, the demon Warmwood, to how to lead his patient as it is referred to in a book, but basically his human, down a very, very, very dark path. And this is the fourth episode. But the third letter in the book that we are covering, the book itself has 31 letters that Uncle Screwtape has written to his nephew Warmwood about how to ensure that his patient, slight human, ends up in hell and does not end up in God's camp, and so and that's what these letters are about They're fairly short. Again, i don't think either one of them are longer than six or seven paragraphs, but they're just letters and he's kind of mentoring and tutoring him on how the best way to ensure that his human does not end up in God's camp and end up like a devoted Christian and things like that. So that is what we're covering from June to August.

Speaker 1:

This is the June 28th episode. So if you want to listen to the previous episodes, you really, really, really want to listen to the June 7th episode, because that is where we go into a little bit more in depth about. The book is about and all of the biblical foundational scriptures regarding demons, regarding who they are, where they come from, how they taunt, harass, possess and oppress humans and animals, and the purpose of all of that and what God has to say about all of that, and we give you the biblical scriptural references on all of that for you to do your own personal study on them, and that is why we are covering the book this summer. So please go back and listen to the June 7th episode. That is the foundation episode with all the scriptures.

Speaker 1:

There is a June 14th episode where we covered the topics in letter one, and then there's a June 21st episode where we covered the topics of letter two, and today we are going to cover the topic of letter three And it's about relationships and prayer And in it he, uncle Screwtape. Again, he's a demon in hell And he is. Last week when we covered letter two, uncle Screwtape was very upset with his nephew, demon Wormwood, because he had somehow let his charge, or his patient, his human, become a Christian on his watch. So he was very upset about that And so and he told him how he could go about trying to negate any of the positives from that and how to get the man to try to turn away from that so that he could be again on a guaranteed path to hell.

Speaker 1:

In letter three, uncle Wormwood is suggesting excuse me, uncle Screwtape is suggesting to his nephew Wormwood he wants him to focus on the human's relationship with his mother. Okay, because the mother has already has a demon assigned to her And I assigned I mean to plant thoughts in her head to influence her to do negative things and things like that, not saying that she always complies, not saying she complies, but she has a demon that has been assigned to her by hell by the name of Globos, and he's the one who's working. That has been assigned to the mother, the one that has been assigned to the human. Her son is Wormwood, and so Uncle Screwtape is trying to tell his demon nephew Wormwood to how to sabotage that relationship. Okay, because it looks like that the mother is just not listening to the demon who's been assigned to her, you know So and he, but he wants to damage that relationship because again he damages the relationship with his mother, he that brings him closer to losing his Christianity And then again he's on a guaranteed path to eternal damnation.

Speaker 1:

And that is the whole purpose of Uncle Screwtape and him mentoring his young nephew, damon Wormwood. And he really is just sharing secrets on how to slowly deteriorate the relationship between the young, the young human male, christian, and his mother. And by young, he's about, i think, in his 30s, i don't think they give an exact age. But regardless, uncle Screwtape wants that relationship with his mother. He wants the human's relationship with his mother to be severed And he slowly imports different types of things on how Wormwood can make sure that that relationship is deteriorated. What was your thought on that?

Speaker 2:

or three sharing Well relationships is such a hot topic whether it's family relationships, friend relationships I think that as believers, we need to take this seriously And we need to realize that a lot of what happens in our relationship while everyone has free will and free choice like you were talking about last week with the church and how there's hurt in church and how none of us are perfect And we all have there's a sinful nature that sometimes we agree with or comply with, or whatever you want to call it. We don't always do everything that we're supposed to do. I think that we need to keep that in mind when we're thinking about relationships with other people. I really do believe that there are humans around that are assigned and that try to that whisper things and try to get us to be in strife with other people. It talks about that in the Bible, like there's no demons that want your best or just isn't none. These Satan and demons are the exact opposite of God the Father, god the Son and God the Holy Spirit, and exact opposite of the angels, meaning they want the best for us. They want us to live in harmony with people. They want to restore relationships with people. They want our best, and our best sometimes is the hardest choice. Our best is sometimes the hardest road, but it's still the best. And that's where trust comes in and faith comes in. That's where softening our heart and doing it God's way comes in, because he knows the bottom line when we do it his way, that that's the only way that we'll have that peace and that joy that you and I were talking about earlier this morning. And it doesn't mean that our life is always going to be rosy and peaches and cream, and you know we're never going to have any problems. John 1633 reminds us that we will have tribulation.

Speaker 2:

So I think that a mature person and I am not always a mature person, but a mature person when you have a conflict with somebody, needs to, if you want to, if you want to invoke spiritual warfare, if you want to engage spiritual warfare. So when you have an issue with somebody, yes, you need to, in the natural, go and try to make peace with them. I love the verse in the Bible and, as much as depends on me, live in peace with other people. But I think that we need to remember that there is an enemy who is praying on our weaknesses. Whether that means we're tired, overwhelmed, stressed, you know, all of those hungry, all of those fast play into things and create division and create conflict. So I think that we need to remember that there is a supernatural element when we have conflicts with others, that it's not that that person is our enemy per se. It's that that person is being influenced by our enemy.

Speaker 1:

Yes, yes, yes, yes, Because our enemy isn't necessarily that person, right, right, it's the influences, the demonic evil influences that are coming, that are influencing that person per se. You know, and when it comes to relationships sometimes we have well, it's not. Sometimes. As believers, we have got to really keep that in mind. It is hard, it is very, very hard, and that is where a lot of spiritual warfare comes in, because our flesh wants to do one thing and the Spirit of God is saying do something else. Right, you know, and we, i, just I was witness to, you know, a similar situation happening between some family members just the other day.

Speaker 1:

I, and it centered around a blood family member that was in the hospital and their spouse and another blood family member that was related to the third person in hospital, which was his sister. So it was like the sister of the family of the person who was hospitalized against the spouse's wife And now the sister in the sister-in-law hadn't been getting along for over a decade, right? So there was already some bitterness, resentment there on both sides And the the in-law, you know, was baiting the sister with very snappy remarks, almost like baiting them into saying something you know, And.

Speaker 1:

But this other person, the sister is, has grown a lot in maturity and her relationship with Christ And it was very hard for her to not engage in that, to not take the bait, to not get into an argument, to not do anything. So she said quiet. When I asked her about it later, like you were awfully quiet, you know, and she was like I was praying, you know. So you know, she was like because it was very, very hard for me not to respond. So the way she was, you know, coming at me basically, you know, and initial spiritual growth and maturity from like the person, from like maybe five years ago, that could have ended up in a huge blowout, you know. But instead it was like that other person was just kind of left with a lot of ammunition But the bullets weren't going through, They were bouncing off because the sister decided to remain quiet during the whole thing, you know, and not engage and not bite back. You know, and take the bait, you know, and everything else. But was it easy? No, i talked to that person afterward and I was like it was very, very hard. I was pretty much praying the whole time that I did not lose my cool, you know and take the bait. So it is very, very hard. And what happened? because she stayed quiet and didn't engage. Now they're not best of friends or you know, anything like that, but that leaves the door open in the future for them to somehow reconcile, because you and I both know that if the sister would have engaged then they would have words of sin, fiery darts of shots. Feelings are hurt, people are left with scars, because the Bible tells us about how words can hurt and wound, you know, and that makes rebuilding that relationship sometime down the future that much harder. But when you keep quiet and you try to pray and you try to keep your cool, you know, and everything else that leaves the door open. The enemy of your soul does not want you to rebuild any relationships. They want you isolated and dark, you in the dark.

Speaker 1:

You are the only person who believes this. You're the only person who thinks this. You're the only person who goes to the church. You're the only one that does this. You're the only one that does that. You know, and as long as there is a strife and a relationship with a family member, you really don't have peace. There's like no peace when you know they call it, the family gatherings for, like, thanksgiving, christmas, you know, stuff like that. There's always there, so and so is going to be there, right, you know. But when you don't engage in that and you just ignore it and you just pray your way through it, there's power in that And you're actually taking power away from that other person who is also being influenced to do things you know and things like that. So it is very, very important, and especially with with relationships where this with our mother, our siblings, our in-laws we go to church with and everything like that We have got to be very careful when it comes to how we respond to situations.

Speaker 1:

You know, and it's very, very hard In this situation it was just like one off because generally they try to stay away from each other because you know it could be like a ticking time bomb. But because you know the brother slice shows and was in hospital, that you know you, you you got to come together for that kind of you know, in that you know situation. But we have got to be careful because there, just like there's angels. you know, back back when I was a kid there used to be cartoons that were kind of tease and you know like the kid was wanting to do something, but then there would be an angel, one shoulder and and like a little red tailed devil with horns and a fork on the other. Do you remember those kind of cartoons, sherry? Oh, yeah, yeah, you know. And it'd be like you're trying to make the decision on what to do, like we're going to listen to the angel with the harp or am I going to listen to the red devil, you know, on my shoulder. Little did we know back then that was giving you a picture of spiritual work there. It was giving you a picture of it. Of which one am I going to listen to? How am I going to respond to this and everything else?

Speaker 1:

And in Uncle Screwtape's letter to his demon nephew because they're both demons but one, uncle Screwtape is like up, higher when it comes to demons And when you say well, camera, what do you mean by that? Like there's higher demons and lower demons. Yes, there's a higher archie. And please go back to listen to episode the gen, the June 7th episode, and we give you scriptures that talk about the hierarchy of demons. So Uncle Screwtape is who's a demon? And he's just.

Speaker 1:

He's trying to teach young nephew, demon Wormwood, how to plant thoughts in his young Christian's mind on how to sever the relationship with his mother by focusing on her sins and the things that she do and the things that she does wrong, and to think and be more self-righteous like, oh my goodness, she's going to go to hell. She does this, she does that, you know, i'm worried about her soul, you know, and things like that, without we have her so focused on that, about how he's so much higher and above her and he's so focused on her soul that he doesn't even he forget that she's a human that has regular needs, such as like rheumatism, right, it's like you forget the basic stuff, the basic needs that they have, and just make him so high and mighty and righteous, you know, and to look down on her as less than because and a lot of people do that and a lot of people see Christians that way like why are you looking down on me, you know, and things like that. And sometimes it comes across as our approach, right, not that what we, the topic that we're approaching about, is wrong. It's that the method may, that we are coming across as maybe too harsh, and that's a maybe, and that also depends on who you're talking to and how long that person has been walking in that but down that particular road, you know, and in this case he's like you know, we need to get him away from his mother. Let him focus on this and say, oh, she's not as good as I thought she was, you know, look at all these other things that's wrong with her. I'm going to focus on all of her sins And the whole time he and that's what he wants, uncle demon excuse me, nephew, demon wormwood to do is to plan all these thoughts And the young Christians mind And then, you know, the mom will be like wait, where is all this coming from? Right, you know, and everything else. So it builds just to right, and where there's strife that gives the more and other demons, more foothold into your soul to just keep adding to that and adding to that and adding to that. So we have got to be very careful.

Speaker 1:

Um, when it comes to relationship, always go to God and ask him wisdom, like Lord, how do I handle this? How do or should I even handle this? Is this my lane or is this the Holy spirit lane? Is this something I need to do Or you got this already, you know, and we have to be very, very careful And how we do that, and that's basically what you were saying, am I right, sherry? Yep, yep, exactly, exactly. And so we have got to be just very, very careful.

Speaker 1:

And in that letter, with Uncle Screwtape and Damon and Nephew Wormwood, that is exactly what they're doing. And we are covering this topic today just to say be very, very careful when it comes to these things. Sometimes we have to say to ourselves I am not taking the bait, i am not getting ready to get into this argument, i am just going to walk all the way. And that puts it back in the enemy's court to try to come up with something else. But if you're already focused and you're built up in your relationship with God and in a word, and you're just trusting him, the more fiery doors they try to shoot at you, the more they just bounce off, you know. And that's all I wanted to say about that topic. So, sherry, just go ahead and add whatever you wanted to add.

Speaker 2:

Well, i think that that goes right into what you were saying, and I just want to give this encouragement to everybody that the more that you like. I love the example that you gave about your relatives and how they shut down any possibility of strife or conflict because they prayed the whole time instead of responding. They didn't respond with a gut approach With a gut approach. They didn't respond with their feelings. They responded through prayer. And when God is working with you on a relationship and you truly are seeking to hold no grudges, no bitterness, no anger, but you live a life of forgiveness, then it doesn't matter if the other person changes or not. Yes, you're praying for them to change. Yes, you're praying for God to work in their life too, but their actions or reactions don't affect your joy, your peace, your sense of forgiveness, your ability to love. And you get to a point where they may still continue to bring the same ammunition, the same tactics, the same tone, the same attitude, the same words, the same whatever, but you are the one that has changed, because God has grown you, god has matured you, and not in a priceless way, not in a oh, i'm better than you are. No, just simply in a I gave that to God. That's between you and God. I don't need to deal with that. I can love you the way you are. I'm not asking you to be anything that you aren't. My role is to love you, and by love you I mean depending on the degree. You know a friend love a coworker, love a mother, father, sibling, cousin, grandparent love it's all different, but I it just. It frees us. It frees us to be able to be who we are. I was reading a really good book about excuse me, about boundaries and relationships, and it was talking about and I guess I want to leave everybody with this challenge today. Just because it's summertime, we have a little bit more time maybe.

Speaker 2:

But in this kind of a fun challenge like go in the Bible, search the Bible and search different characteristics You can start with like the fruits of the spirit that we're given with the Holy Spirit. So when we become a believer, we are given the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We need to grow them and mature them in our lives, but we have those gifts available to us. So their love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, long suffering, self-control. There's others to do, but those are just to kind of get you started. So, anyway, ask God and spend a little bit of time with him and discover what characteristics you see yourself as Like. Who do you see yourself as? You see yourself as somebody who's kind, somebody who's gentle, somebody who has self-control, somebody who has mercy, somebody who loves people, somebody who, whatever? fill in the blanks.

Speaker 2:

Then, when you get into a conflict with somebody, when you're in a relationship or when you know that you're going to be with somebody who pushes all the buttons and triggers all the triggers, remind yourself this is who I am. What boundaries can I put in place in my life that can? and again, ask the Holy Spirit to help you with this. But what boundaries can I put in place in my life so that I will continue to reflect the characteristics that God said that I am, that God created in me? I don't want to act like this. I want to stay in character of who I am in Christ.

Speaker 2:

And I'll tell you what when you do an exercise like that, you would be amazed at how it helps you stay in control.

Speaker 2:

And you're not doing it out of pure self-control, you're not doing it just by the grid of your teeth, you're doing it with the Holy Spirit's help And it. Just for me anyway, it's a life-changing moment. Does it mean I get it right every time? Absolutely not. But does it mean that I do better? And does it help me then that when the other person chooses not to change and they bring the same arguments or different arguments Because it helped me stay grounded and not be affected, and by that we don't want to just work really hard at not being bothered, we want to give it over to God so completely that we truly are not bothered, that we can walk away from an interaction with somebody, and the interaction is the same one that has bothered us for the last six years of our life, but we've given it over to him so completely that we can walk away, and it was as though we just spent time with our best friend and we reminisced about all these wonderful times that we had.

Speaker 2:

Like, we have that much peace And our happiness scale, joy scale, peaceful scale is the same as if we had just spent time making memories with the most favorite person we have in the whole wide world. That and it's possible, and I say that because God has brought me to that place in my life. And then we are those joyful Christians, those joyful Christ followers that we talked about a few weeks ago, kara, because we represent him and we want to represent him well, so, oh, i could just go on and on, and on and on about relationships, but we are at the end of our time today. So next week we are going to talk about sincere prayer. That is going to be the topic of next week. Please head over to the Facebook group, to your podcast, tell us what has been your favorite chapter or topic so far And give us your thoughts and your comments and your thinking about what relationships are and how to have a relationship, a Godly relationship, with all different kinds of people in your life.

Speaker 2:

If you need prayer or encouragement, head over to the cheer up podcast at gmailcom. Drop us a line and we would love to respond to you that way. Head over to karaahuntcom And that is where you will find all of Kara's latest and greatest things on her website. She is constantly putting new things there, so go check that out. If you want to know more about how to grow your relationship with God and you want to be in a group that is accountable and by that I just mean it is consistent and it just helps, it gives you a formula or a plan not a formula, but it gives you more of a plan, so that you don't feel like you are just opening your Bible and throwing a dart and trying to hit a bullseye. If you want to know more of a plan and a structured way to grow your relationship with Christ, come check out the membership option, jesus and the Everyday Membership over on my website. I would love to have you join and become part of that family.

Speaker 2:

We are so glad that you are here. We will have tribulation in this world, according to Jesus, but in him we may have peace. Be of good cheer. He says he has overcome the world, and that is so true, and I think every single week, carol, we can talk about different ways that God has overcome and he will continue to overcome, because he is the same yesterday, today and forever. We are so glad that you are here today. Come back next week. We want to talk about sincere prayer and we are just so glad to be sharing this series with you this summer. Have a great day, go 8-3-6-8.

The Screwtape Letters
Navigating Family Strife With Wisdom
Growing Your Relationship With God