Satan constructs unique prisons. As he builds prisons, his construction uses unexpected labor. His construction blueprint depends on control. He wants to control me in ways that destroy me.

Satan is like an adult who allows a small child to do anything. The small child considers only fun, never danger; only pleasure, never consequence. The initial impression: He is good to me! He lets me have fun! The truth? He could not care less about me.

Love never allows certain things to happen. Love never allows self-seeking ambition to neglect the one loved. Love never encourages the one loved to hurt self. Love never lets the one loved believe the present makes the future insignificant.

Satan encourages me to indulge my desires. When my desires control me, I become addicted. In time, my addiction becomes a prison.

Satan urges me to be selfish. If you do not look out for yourself, who will? My selfishness produces isolation. In time, my isolation becomes a prison.

Satan tells me to love things. Possessing your wants is life's most wonderful achievement. The more I love the material, the less I love people. Only greedy people choose to be around me. In time, my possessions become a prison.

Satan challenges me to judge. Mercy and compassion are weakness! I develop expertise in judgmental attitudes. When I proficiently attack compassion and mercy, I am judged as harshly as I judge. In time, my judgmental opinions become a prison.

Satan trains me to manipulate. Use people! Through manipulation, I destroy my trustworthiness and genuineness. No one trusts me, and everyone doubts my motives. In time, my manipulation becomes a prison.

Satan entices me to indulge my senses. Pleasure is life's true goal! The joys of indulgence are life's greatest pleasure! With time, pleasure becomes empty and meaningless. My pleasure highs, easily generated at first, become elusive. In time, my pleasures become a prison.

Satan instructs me to look out for number one. You are the only truly important person you know! I make choices considering only me. The end result of thinking only of me is living only with me. In time, my loneliness becomes a prison.

It was for freedom that Christ set us free... For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another (Galatians 5:1,13). Christ builds freedom. Satan builds prisons. Christ used himself to free me. Satan uses me to build my prisons.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 4 March 2001

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