Letter 30 is difficult if I am to translate every detail but I do think I have the general idea. The letter begins with a unmerciful upbraid from Screwtape to Wormwood. Screwtape not only scolds the lowly demon, he threatens his very existence. There is no mercy in the demonic world. After the horrible upbraiding, Screwtape precedes to lecture Wormwood on the art of temptation.
Wormwood has been a total failure at undermining the humans faith by attacking him intellectually. The devil can not win an intellectual battle. There is too much truth available. Screwtape suggest that Wormwood change his approach and that he attack the human’s mind on an emotional level, not the intellectual. This will give the little demon a distinct advantage. Intellectual facts are very objective but feelings are almost totally subjective. Screwtape reminds Wormwood that the state of the mind is related to the state of the body. “Fatigue” is something that we can use to our advantage quotes Screwtape.
Screwtape encourages Wormwood to exaggerate the human’s fatigue, make him think that it is worse than it is in reality. Make him think that he is justified in enduring this fatigue with patience no longer. We humans do get irritable when we get tired and we do tend to fly off the handle when we get into such an emotional state. Screwtape confesses that the demonic world get some sadistic delight out of seeing we human blow our top. The devil will stir our anger but he gives no aid or comfort when it comes to a patient enduring or a total commitment. We certainly cannot attain any degree of endurance a part from patience. When the devil incites us to pitch a fit, we undermine the spiritual principle that is working to produce the patience we so desperately need.
Screwtape also suggest that “fatigue” can be used in the battle of the sexes. He says that men get quiet when they are tired but women become talkative. Put the two together and you have an unhappy situation that sometimes results in conflict.
Screwtape is not at all impressed with Wormwoods work and he basically tells him that if he expects any success, he has to convince the human that his emotions are to be his master. Screwtape chides–Through his feelings, you can persuade him to deny reality. Rather than trust God’s word as an objective fact, rely on your emotions. Do you feel loved? Wormwood is urged at all cost to get the human to rely on his feelings. Encourage him to see ‘hate’ as real by showing him a hateful person. Convince him that love is a fantasy and that loving people love for purely selfish reasons. Get the human confused, mixed up, befuddled so that he does not know the difference between reality and illusion. It is OK for the human to think that wars and poverty are bad and that peace and prosperity are good so long as the human is led by his sentiment. The devil is more apt to use prosperity than he is poverty. Screwtape’s final deexhortation is for Wormwood to remember that the human “want the cake and eat it to” whereas the demonic goal is to make them pay for the cake and then not get the first bit. Wow! The devil is a mean one.
Satan wants you to trust your emotions instead of the word of God. Don’t let him beguile you as he did Eve. Remember, he is a liar.