Monday, January 18, 2010

Defying the Devil

Luther had a friend named Jerome Weller who was discouraged, who felt condemned, a failure, and who was under the accusation of Satan. He was often focused in on all manner of trivial issues in life. He was becoming in some sense paralyzed by the small stuff. So, Luther wrote him a letter in 1530. Here is some of what he said:

"Whenever the devil pesters you with these thoughts, at once seek out the company of men, drink more, joke and jest, or engage in some other form of merriment. Sometimes it is necessary to drink a little more, play, jest, or even commit some sin in defiance and contempt of the devil in order not to give him an opportunity to make us scrupulous about trifles. . . .

When the devil throws our sins up to us and declares that we deserve death and hell, we ought to speak thus: 'I admit that I deserve death and hell. What of it? Does this mean that I shall be sentenced to eternal damnation? By no means. For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction in my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Where he is, there I shall be also.'"[1]

[1] Theodore G. Tappert, editor, Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel, page 86.

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