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A Letter From C. S. Lewis

In September 1961, Harvey Karlsen, a high school student in Brooklyn, New York, wrote to C. S. Lewis in England. Harvey had read Lewis’ book The Screwtape Letters and asked the author, “When you wrote this book, did Satan give you any trouble, and if he did, what did you do about it?”

Three weeks later, Lewis penned a reply in which he affirmed that he still had plenty of temptations. He said that in facing them, “Perhaps . . . the most important thing is to keep on; not to be discouraged however often one yields to the temptation, but always to pick yourself up again and ask forgiveness.”

The New Testament letters of John are filled with encouragement to persevere in the face of temptation. “I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one” (1 John 2:12-13).

Whatever our age or experience, we are in a spiritual battle together. “The world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (v.17).

Let us cling to God and keep on!

Lord, I get discouraged when I’ve given in again to one
of Satan’s schemes. I’m thankful, though, that Christ
paid for that sin on the cross. Help me to confess it and then
to keep on relying on You for my spiritual growth.
To master temptation, let Christ master you.