If I Were the Devil

If I were the devil, here are some tactics I would use to harm people...

If I were the devil, here are some tactics I would use to harm people:

For the Lost Person

I would convince them that God is the enemy of their joy, and that joy is found in sin.

I would draw their attention to all the bad things that happen in the world and cause them not to acknowledge the good.

I would distract them with the cares, worries and pleasures of this life so they don’t have time to think about eternity.

I would use culture to convince them that they are the most important thing in their world.

I would tell them that they are not that bad, that any sins they are aware of are “normal” anyway.

I would convince them that their problem is not a sin problem but an academic problem. If they just had more “facts,” then they would believe.

I would nudge them to follow any religion, cult, social idea or cultural mentality they want. As long as it is not Jesus, I don’t care what “god” they worship.

For the Christian

I would tell them that they are not saved, that God could never forgive someone as bad as them.

I would tempt them into thinking that God’s commands are burdensome or are required to keep His love.

I would use God’s law against them, either to crush them under its weight (if they failed in keeping it) or to cause them to become proud (if they succeeded in keeping it).

I would keep them isolated from community. There is a reason why lions try to separate one animal from the rest of the herd.

I would scare them into thinking that I have more power than I do.

I would try to keep them away from lost people for fear of being “corrupted.”

I would do anything to get their eyes off Jesus.

I would have them notice all the failures of others while ignoring their own.

I would tempt them to notice all the negative qualities in their spouse and none of the positive. If I can divide the marriage, then I can take the family.

I would induce them to cynicism so that they become a thorn in the side of church leaders or become consumed with fruitless debates.

I would attack when they are most vulnerable: when they are stressed, tired, alone, bored or after a spiritual high (S.T.A.B.S.).

For the Christian Leader

I would tempt them to commit a major moral failure or to put themselves in a compromising situation so I could disqualify them for ministry.

I would try to convince them that they are too broken or sinful to be used by God.

I would try to distract them with any theological or ministerial issue so that less time is spent advancing the gospel.

I would put wolves in their flock to discourage and harass them.

I would prod them to care more about people’s opinion than God’s. Not only would this keep them from preaching Scripture, but it would also cause them to be puffed up by the compliments of men.

I would tempt them to pattern their churches after the wisdom of the world—business techniques, mass marketing, consumerism, pop psychology, etc. — instead of Scriptural wisdom.

I would entice them to become self-reliant, and should they taste any success, I would want them to think it came from themselves.


The devil is smarter, stronger and more relentless than we are. However, he is not God, and that fact terrifies him. The Bible tells us that “greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). The points above are intended to remind us to be on guard, and to look to Jesus to protect us “so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes” (2 Cor. 2:11).

Recommended Resources

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

The Demonic Denial of Doctrine and Delight blog post by Geoff Ashley