A Good Quote that Screwtape Never Said

I wish it was true. I’ve read the quote on Facebook. Probably you have, too. It’s been attributed to C.S. Lewis, but he never wrote it. In The Screwtape Letters, the senior demon Screwtape instructs his demon-in-training nephew Wormwood how to handle the “patient.” We are the patients.


There’s so much truth in that paragraph, laden with poignancy for today, that I completely fell for it that it came from Lewis. I wish I knew who the real author is, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t written back in 1942.

Here’s something Lewis did write in Screwtape’s voice (I know because I copied it myself):

Looking round your patient’s new friends I find that the best point of attack would be the border-line between theology and politics. Several of his new friends are very much alive to the social implications of their religion. That, in itself, is a bad thing; but good can be made out of it.

Generally, I like to stay out of political discussions, especially this particularly polarizing year. I have good friends who I respect on both sides. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have strong opinions and convictions about the “social implications of my religion” that guide me. Like many of you, I’m not thrilled about the two choices we came up with, but I’ll still exercise my right to vote and pray for God’s wisdom in the process.

Regardless of whoever wins in two weeks, almost half of the country will be disappointed or even angry. We are a nation filled with “angst and frustration” (as the writer of the fake quote says).

And yet God sees it all. He sees us.

Back in the Old Testament days, the prophet Elijah challenged the prophets of a false god. When their god didn’t answer, Elijah suggested he might be busy, or on a trip, or maybe he stepped away from the office, or even fell asleep. (I Kings 18:27) Elijah’s God, who is my God, came through. He was present and wide awake. He answered.

So here’s my little morsel of wisdom to put out in cyber space.

This crazy election isn’t catching Jehovah God off guard. He isn’t napping.

God is bigger than the election. He’s bigger than any one person who is elected or not elected. He’s bigger than America.

He’s not sometimes sovereign. He either is, or he isn’t. I cast my ballot for “is.”


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