Master Psychologists?

March 7, 2007

OK, let me begin this post with a little disclaimer. I have nothing against psychologists. And making the following connections that I am about to make is in no way intended as an implication that there is something inherently wrong with them. I nearly studied psychology myself. In fact… why don’t I begin there…

Psychology was always one of those fields of study that I held in the back of my mind as a possibility. It fascinated me and I thought that I might enjoy pursuing it further.

Upon taking my first psychology classes in college, however, I realized that I was far too weak for such an endeavor.

I discovered in high school how amazingly manipulative I could be. Especially when it came to guys. I was quite good at discretely directing a conversation without making it obvious that I was determining its course. And I knew how to get them to ask the questions I wanted them to ask. In fact… if there was something I wanted to do, I realized that getting the other person to suggest the idea wasn’t all that hard!

Upon realizing this (and just how disgusting of a sin it actually was), I went through a serious detox and time of repentance. Manipulation came so easily that I had been previously unconscious of these manipulative tendencies. But when I saw it for what it was, I fled from it with great urgency. And let me tell you, those were some hard habits to break. While I cannot claim perfection in this matter, it is surely a weakness one could say that I have generally overcome. God has brought some serious transformation in this area of my life.

When I started studying psychology, though, I began to see how it was affecting my interactions with people. That old propensity toward manipulation was beginning to be resurrected. It made it too easy to control people. And I knew that I was too weak to really go any further in it at the time. I thought I might take the Bible’s recommendation and flee from sin!

I still did end up studying a considerable amount of psychology through my education classes. But the context in which I was learning those things (and the additional growth that transpired in the years between these experiences in psychology) made it altogether different. For one thing, there were almost always direct classroom applications of the things that we were learning.

In any case… a recent conversation with two friends of mine recently led me to this thought:

Could it be said that demons are essentially master psychologists?

Undeniably, their work is the work of manipulation. They breathe lies and skew our perspectives with every deception that they can invent. They seek to create false images of God and to distort the truth in every way possible. Truly, they exalt themselves against the knowledge of God. They tear people away from being lovers of the truth.

But they are limited in their abilities. Demons are not discerners of the thoughts and intents to the heart. All things are not naked and open to their eyes as they are to the eyes of God (Hebrews 4:12-13). They do not see everything. They do not know everything. They cannot discern everything.

But they can study human psychology. They can spend their existence learning the general propensities and workings of the human mind and will. They can observe the way that we tend to react to things. They can form an understanding of the things that come together to shape our perspectives and our behaviors.

And so… again… my conjecture is that demons are students of psychology… masters of psychology. They study our behaviours and the way that we work and they use this knowledge in their work of manipulation.

Any thoughts?



  1. Whoa. That is really, really profound — and I don’t know much about demons, but I totally think you hit it on the head with your post. I had somewhat of a “Mufasa! moment” reading this, if that makes any sense…

  2. Ever hear the saying, “Don’t counsel a demon, cast them out?” It was invented for a reason! Provocative post. CBB

  3. You’re making me think, on my night off none the less. 🙂 But its a good thing to make me think like this.

  4. I think you hit on something really profound here. When I was working in prayer ministry I saw people that would be upset because they were being tormented by demons. We often found that the reality was years ago they were fed demonic lies, which they picked up and had been feeding ever since. I got the impression that the original demon was off in the Bahamas soaking up rays while the person carried on the demon’s work. As you say, it knew exactly which buttons to push to get a person to take over the job of mental torment. Thanks for a great post!

  5. ALright, now that I’ve had some time to process this post I will write a little more comprehensive response. I too think you’ve hit on something profound. Demons do know which buttons to push to get us as humans to continue their work for them – to get us to torture ourselves mentally. Think of how easy it is to be around someone for a short time and learn what buttons to push to make them mad, make them do things that they normally wouldn’t do – then think that demons have had all of their time of existance to study those buttons in multitudes of people. My thought is, no matter how different we say we are, as a whole there are a few “universal” buttons that can be pushed – acceptance, love, beauty, etc. – and cause people to start torturing themselves.

    Well, that’s my rambling two cents.

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