Ephesians 4:27 says, “Do not give the devil a foothold.” According to my Microsoft dictionary, foothold means - "Firm base for progress: a secure starting position from which further advances can be made".
Pride and selfishness are huge footholds we give to the devil to enter our lives and try to destroy our relationships. Any sin in our life quickly opens up the door to allow the devil to enter. We have to take responsibility for sin in our life, not always blaming it on the devil. He will magnify our thoughts about problems, though, and fill our minds with enough garbage to help us make the choice to sin.
The word ‘devil’ comes from the Greek work, diabolos. Dia means to penetrate, and ballo means to throw. The devil constantly attempts to penetrate our thinking by throwing his evil ideas at us.
The devil is not a scary monster that lives under our beds or an evil figure that slithers through the night. His greatest success has been to convince people that he does not exist. He is an invisible spirit that seeks to destroy our lives and separate us from the love of God. Our minds are the devil's playground.
Have you ever had your feelings about someone you love (particularly your spouse) turn, in a brief moment, to thoughts of disgust, unable to see the good in them? It’s as though you’ve put on a set of eyeglasses that reveal wickedness and ugliness. You can only see the bad.
These are times the devil penetrates our thinking through some entry point we have made vulnerable to him. If we don’t stop these negative thoughts, they will quickly grow into an attitude that will destroy any relationship.
This is the point where you have to realize that the devil is magnifying a small issue by making you believe the lies about the other person. You have to take these thoughts captive. Get rid of them. Look in the mirror at your own faults and realize that none of us is perfect. Ask the Holy Spirit to get the criticism out of your heart and allow God’s love to flow through that other person. Focus on the good you love about them.
Below are some areas that easily become footholds for the devil if we allow them to exist.
- Refusing to let go of old hurts
- Refusing to acknowledge what we did wrong
- Refusing to forgive others for what they did
- Refusing to stop judging others for their grievances
- Refusing to admit we were wrong too
- Refusing to say, “I’m sorry” when we’re wrong
- Refusing to lay down our “rights” for others
* Taken from “Sparkling Gems” by Rick Renner
These are all selfish acts that only aggravate our relationships. If left to fester, they will easily destroy a marriage relationship.