The Devil: A Deceitful Dumpster Diver

Trash bag over shoulder

Satan uses tailor-made tactics to trip us up. Are you familiar with his schemes?  

You’d better be—because he is familiar with you. Yes, the devil and his demons know you. Your weaknesses and strengths. Your family history. Your habits. Your secrets.
Your trash.

The Devil is a deceitful dumpster diver. 

A true dumpster diver looks through the garbage with eyes that see potential—what something could be with a little TLC. This is what God does. He can use our mistakes, even what’s meant for evil, and turn it into something useful and good (see my recent post I’m Glad God Recycles).

The devil sees our trash as useful, too. Only he uses it to trip us up and to heap on guilt and shame.

This is why Satan is referred to as the “accuser” seventeen times in scripture. 

Satan’s names reveal a lot about his character and schemes. Here are a few: Father of Lies, Tempter, Adversary, Wicked One, Roaring Lion, and Accuser. Today, we are focusing  “accuser” and how the devil uses our trash (mistakes, shortcomings) against us.

Don’t think for a moment because you’re a Christian, you’re somehow immune to falling prey to the enemy’s accusations. On the contrary, when a person professes faith in Jesus Christ, they become the enemy’s enemy

Of course, Satan hates all human beings because God created us all in His image. But Satan has a particular hatred for Christ-followers because they have His Holy Spirit living in them. The Holy Spirit is powerful. According to Ephesians 1:19, Christians have the same power available that rose Jesus from the dead thereby seating Him at the right hand of God!

Satan does not have that kind of power, so he resorts to other methods to wage war against humanity. He knows that Christians have a sin nature living within them along with the Holy Spirit. So, he preys upon our propensity to sin (see Romans 7: 14-25). He goes through our trash like a deceitful dumpster diver, accusing and condemning.

As Christ-followers, we must be able to discern what we are hearing in our minds: conviction from the Holy Spirit or condemnation from an unholy spirit.

Listen, this is super important because many of us waste valuable time wallowing in condemning thoughts that center around self. This is a major tactic of the enemy to keep us focused inward rather than upward.

What is Condemnation?

1: CENSURE, BLAME  2:  the act of judicially condemning.

Condemnation comes from Satan. It is an attack designed to accuse and tear you down. Revelation 12:10 refers to Satan as the accuser of the brothers and sisters.

Condemnation continually points out what a failure you are, and how badly you’ve messed up. But the biggy is this:

Condemnation shows you the problem without offering a solution. 

What is Conviction?

The Bible refers to conviction as godly sorrow. We will feel grieved in our spirit, but that grief leads us to the Father.

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10 Condemnation Conviction chart

Conviction says, “Come to me and I will forgive and help you.” 

The Holy Spirit will convict us when we sin. And that is a good thing because sin is a problem. Sin separates us from our holy God. Conviction feels a bit like an uncomfortable separation. A godly sense of sorrow. Along with godly sorrow comes the hope of forgiveness and opportunity for teaching and correction.


God says, “Therefore, there is now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1 emphasis mine)

Satan says, “You are a wretched sinner.” He proceeds to impress upon us all our failures.

The Greek word for “no” in Romans 8:1  is oudeis, an even stronger than the normal word for “no.” The word no is actually the first word of the sentence in the Greek manuscript, which means the primary emphasis is placed upon “no.” Translators have moved the word in order to make the sentence read better, but Paul is strongly declaring that there is absolutely no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Katakrima is the Greek word for condemnation that means ‘death sentence, damnation, eternal death.’ But as a Christian, there is NO death sentence for you. In fact, commentaries state Romans 8:1 could read like this:

“Therefore, now, there is not even one bit of condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” 

When we mess up (and we will) and the negative thoughts begin (and they will, too), we must train ourselves to STOP and ask, Is this teaching me and pointing toward forgiveness? Or, is this accusing and showing me only the problem?

The antidote to condemnation is the truth of God’s word. 

Remember, the devil is looking for ways to keep you focused inward rather than upward on God. The more we know the Lord through the power of His Word, the more we will recognize the difference between the voice of the Holy Spirit and the voice of the accuser.

Dear ones, there is NOT EVEN ONE BIT OF CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ. Now, that is a reason to praise!

I’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts and prayer requests in the comments below.

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Trash bag over shoulder


15 thoughts on “The Devil: A Deceitful Dumpster Diver”

  1. Yes, Beckie, the enemy will use every tactic possible to erode our faith and our hope in the One who saves. Just today, unpleasant memories of times before I became a committed Christian floated to my mind. Where did these come from??? Then I realized the truth – God has long since forgiven me of those sins, and Satan no longer has a hold, no matter how hard he tries. What we need to be mindful of is that he will never stop trying. May we stay strong in the Lord!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Martha, the devil is relentless. But we know who wins! I’m so glad you recognized the accusing thoughts from the enemy and took them captive with the Lord’s help. We must have our armor intact every single day until we see Jesus.
      Thanks for commenting, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely Ms. Beckie. The most powerful force in the universe is at our disposal; we just have to have the faith, courage, and conviction to use it. God’s word is indefensible; meaning Satan has nothing that can stand against it; if we’re willing to stand on it my friend. We said. Satan is indeed a deceitful dumpster diver. Never heard it explained quite that way in the past, but a most accurate description indeed ma’am. Thank you for this encouraging and enlightening post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for the reminder that “Along with godly sorrow comes the hope of forgiveness and opportunity for teaching and correction.” I want to remember where my focus should be: upward on God!


  4. Beckie, this is wonderful. Friends and I were discussing this just a few days ago. Satan *IS* a liar, and we do have power to not listen to him.
    It’s so good to be consistently reminded of the Lord’s LOVE for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good stuff in this post! It is so great that you explain the difference between condemnation and conviction because so many confuse the two. I love your words, “Condemnation shows you the problem without offering a solution” and, “Conviction says, “Come to me and I will forgive and help you.” Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Stephanie,
    I tell ya, it was a good reminder for me to type out the differences between condemnation and conviction. There are so many voices competing for our attention that point us away from the truth of God’s amazing love. We all need reminding!
    Blessings ❤


  7. Beckie, this is so good and so eye-opening. We need more articles like this detailing the enemy’s tactics and schemes. Like the greek word study on “no” and “condemnation.” New information for me. And this: “As Christ-followers, we must be able to discern what we are hearing in our minds: conviction from the Holy Spirit or condemnation from an unholy spirit.” Amen, sister. The last two days, I’ve talked to four people about how you powerfully paint pictures of spiritual warfare, Satan and his demons, and God’s army of angels in your book series. Too often, we as believers are unaware of this unseen world and it’s costing us big time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen, I agree that too often we are unaware of the unseen spiritual battle taking place in our lives. For too long, I battled with negative thoughts until the Lord opened my eyes to the tactics of the devil through Scripture.
      I’m so honored that you found this post helpful and that you have been sharing about the Beauties from Ashes series. Thank you!

      God bless you and yours! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is such an important message, Beckie. We need to uncover the duping that goes on around us. We often don’t recognize it as easily in ourselves, but I believe that’s one reason we need to Body of Christ. To see in others and call the devil on it. I also love how to showed the difference between conviction and condemnation. Another really important difference we need to teach to the next generation. Great post


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