(Wormwood continues tutoring his young tempter)
Remember Hardtack, conversion does not mean you have lost your patient altogether. Perhaps he will remain devoted for a time, what with all that enthusiasm and fellowship and such. Not to worry, soon he will begin to backslide and a path will open for you to begin your work again.
It is much better sometimes to have them converted. When he thinks a thing is forbidden, this makes our attempts much stronger. He will eventually believe he is the exception. Our first success, Eve, fell completely for the idea.
The ease in our task is quite simple. If we can get the patient to stop at belief, he becomes only lukewarm. Because he bought into those words, “that whoever believeth in him shall not perish,” there seems to be nothing more for him to do. Your task is to keep him from discovering the more.
Screwtape always likened it to one of them having a heart attack. First, they watch what they eat, take their medicine religiously (note this word, it’s our advantage), exercise and attend regular check-ups with their doctor. Patience is our strength. We are not bound to time as they are and because they think they do not have enough left, soon they begin to think, “Well, just this one time cannot hurt me. Tomorrow, I will get back on track.” Ahh, when you hear these words you have them.
You see, Hardtack, the road to sloth is not so hard. Complacency is a Tempter’s great friend. Tire them, Hardtack, and you will be successful most of the time. Remember, the Enemy hates for His converts to be separated from Him. This is what you have been commissioned to do. It matters not whether you do it through catastrophe or by subtlety. The result is the same. You have distanced them from their Lord.
Once achieved, you can open them to the other definition for what they call love, namely tolerance and acceptability. And once understood, anything can be placed on the spectrum of acceptability. Before, they may have thought about sin (what we call natural) as significant, something large enough to avoid. Leverage the idea of love as acceptability and their sin becomes insignificant. If their sin becomes insignificant, what the Enemy calls grace is not so much a big deal. Appeal to them in a way that they love their own desires more than the Enemy. Early on your patient will think a sin is a sin. But to get them to think of sin as something else, well, this confuses them and confusion is one of our best weapons.
Hardtack, the Enemy wishes them to stay awake to our efforts, to be on guard. Create doubt in your patient. And if your patient receives grace, have him keep it to himself. To covet is a virtue in our eyes. Remember, what is common to one is common to all. In every patient, there is tug and pull. Your pull must only be greater than his tug.