Thursday, December 1, 2011

Satan as a Ghost Writer

Did you know that Satan is an author? It's true. Of course, he doesn't sit down and write manuscripts and submit them to publishers. However, just like a ghost writer, he comes alongside Christian authors and offers his services--invisibly and for free.

Of course, in the normal understanding of the term, a ghost writer teams up with a busy or inexperienced individual to add literary expertise and thus create a much better manuscript than the individual could do alone. Satan, on the other hand, plays a sneakier game. He's out to sabotage your Christian stories and articles in such a way that you don't even realize he's doing it.

The Devil's first step in this diabolical scheme is to duplicate your own inner voice. (Yes, he's a master of first-person point of view.) So, as you prepare to write, he'll mimic your own thoughts and slip them straight into your brain as if you had generated them yourself:

- "Whatever made me think I could write something for God? I'm probably no good."
- "That agent never replied with a single word about my query. That must mean she hated it."
- "Sure, I've had some stuff published, but my work is nowhere near as good as ________'s stories."
- "Maybe I could sell more books if I just tell a clean story but stop mentioning God and Jesus."
- "Today's market wants steamy bedroom scenes. I could write those and make big bucks!"
- "Write? I have no time to write. Real writers must have huge blocks of time for creativity."
- "It just takes too long to learn and polish my writing skills to get published. I give up!"

Of course, these are just a few samples of the slick thoughts that the master of deception handcrafts for your particular brain. He carries many others in his literary toolbox. The bottom line, though, always aims toward the same goal: to slow down or stop you in your quest to touch hearts and minds for the Lord. How you respond to such unwanted destructive criticism may very well decide your future as a writer.

Let's go on the defensive together. Has the enemy tried to plant any of these wily sentences in your mind? Or, has he penned other propaganda not listed here that you want to warn fellow authors about?

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, 
and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)


  1. Ain't it the truth, Rick. Isn't it a blessing to know, however, that the Holy Spirit is GREATER, and every perfect gift comes from the Father of Lights. He will give us the power to resist the devil, forcing the enemy to flee. Thanks for this entry.

    Write on!
    Because of Christ,
    Sharon Kirk Clifton

  2. Great post, Rick.

    I've heard each of these at one time or another.

    Not too long ago, I made some comment to my hubby about the "you know, if I put steamy bedroom scenes (I may have used other words here) in my book, it would sell." It didn't sound like me to say something like that. I knew it didn't come from me...or just came out.

    Thanks for this post.

  3. obstacles are his greatest weapon...

  4. Great reminder, Rick! Thanks!

  5. How very true! Self doubt is not productive but too easy to relate to. Great article. :)

  6. And he doesn't miss a beat to tear us down.

  7. Very creative and true reminder. Thanks, Rick

  8. The only thing I find somewhat disconcerting in this list is the implication that Satan is behind the urge to just write "clean stories" and not mention "God or Jesus." As if it's wrong to just write clean stories?

    IMHO, too many of us spend too much time "mentioning God and Jesus" in Christian fiction at the EXPENSE of story. We'd do well to think of a clean story, in and of itself. We'd do even better to think of a honkin' GOOD story, with plot holes filled and ridiculous, improbable or too-convenient-to-be-true conflict resolutions eliminated. If we did that, the world would read our stories and want to know more about for Whom we write, instead of making fun of and/or ignoring us because so many of our stories end up as thinly disguised tracts that do little more than "preach to the choir." Are we not tired of this by now?

    Give me clean stories anytime, with or without mention of God and Jesus as obligatory elements, as excellent starting points. Clean, in itself, will speak to this culture on such radically different terms that people will want to know why we told the story "that way." That's when the evangelism should take place--not in a form of a sermon disguised as a book.

    Being determined to put "God" and "Jesus" into books may be well-intentioned manipulation of a story...but it's still manipulation. For my money? Clean and unforced beats THAT any day of the week.

    My two cents,