The evil one loves turning God’s children away from Him. He’s an expert in it and is constantly on the lookout for the next soul to devour.

He loves to sow discord in my life, particularly within my family. The closer we become, the more we know each other’s flaws and pressure points – and it becomes easy to press each other’s buttons during disagreements.

But thankfully, God’s strength has come through to increasingly help me hold my tongue.

There are numerous traps the devil uses, but these four are the most common to me: past hurts, pride, anger, guilt and shame. Powerful as they may be, I learnt that God did not leave us without backup. God has specific promises in His Word to douse every fiery lie and attack hurled at us.


Childhood was the most painful period of my life. Knowing that, Satan constantly triggers animosity between my parents and I based on past memories. While the process of battling unforgiveness isn’t new, it’s certainly exhausting.

In times like these, I bathe myself in Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

What my soul most yearned for in such turbulent times was inner peace and rest, and that’s exactly what Jesus gives us when we turn to Him.

Other verses helped as well, such as Romans 12:19, which commands us not to avenge ourselves because God promises to avenge us. We can rest in this truth and know that God, who is sovereign, will execute judgement in the best way possible.

Finally, 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

I’m constantly challenged as a new creation in Christ to cease bearing unforgiveness, and choose to turn the other cheek instead.


After an argument, I struggle greatly with initiating reconciliation with my parents, especially if they’re the ones who misinterpreted or misunderstood. That being said, I realised that what we perceive as our right to withhold love is actually our pride speaking.

In moments like these, Matthew 5:9 comes to mind: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God”.

Regardless of whether we’re making peace on behalf of someone else or for ourselves, this verse promises us that all peacemakers will be known as children of God. Once you’re His child, God will protect you – He will fight on your behalf.


I’d like to think that I have a good grip on my emotions, but I’m often proven wrong whenever I’m tempted to spew hurtful words to my parents in an argument. When frustrations arise, so does the temptation to deliver the sharpest rebuttal way possible – I just want to give people a piece of my mind without considering how words can kill.

Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.

But I learned to control my tongue.

In the milliseconds between the moment our thoughts form to the time those words finally roll off my tongue, I grasp onto Ephesians 4:26: “in your anger, do not sin” and Ephesians 4:29: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear”.

The Bible promises us that “those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity” (Proverbs 21:23). And it’s true!

As a result of choosing to hold back sarcastic and snarky comments, my relationship with my parents has improved tremendously, and we’ve learnt to be better listeners instead.


We’ve all been tangled up before in the web of guilt and shame, thinking about the mistakes we’ve made. For me, I’ve been tempted to wallow in the guilt of not honouring my parents or not apologising to friends who I’ve wronged. The list goes on.

During these painful moments, I learnt the difference between conviction and condemnation. The first motivates you to turn over a new leaf, while the latter cripples you with shame.

The more I indulged these feelings of shame, the more I tried to overcompensate in behaviour to get approval from others. Problem was, this opened up the possibility of idolising people’s praise over God’s perception of me.

But that’s not how Jesus wanted me to live. Jesus died for our freedom (Galatians 5:1), and the Bible promises that there is no condemnation for people who are in Christ, who don’t walk after the flesh but after the Spirit (Romans 8:1).

What grace that we have a Father who doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, and will instead forgive and purify us from all unrighteousness whenever we confess our sins to Him (1 John 1:9).

That’s the freedom we’re assured, and it gave me the strength to stop beating myself up over past mistakes because God Himself doesn’t bear them against me. On the contrary, God is abounding in love and compassion, slow to anger and rich in love (Psalm 145:8). I rest in the fact that as long as we confess our sins to Him, He will cleanse us from all unrighteousness and draw us to Himself.

So stay vigilant and don’t let your guard down. The best form of defence we have is God’s armour.

As we memorise specific promises from His Word, we will win the battles in our lives. Let us not grow weary in doing good and continuously keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

  1. Which of the four traps listed here are you most susceptible to?
  2. How will you guard yourself from being tripped up this way?
  3. Who can you be accountable to in your personal journey?