In my walk with God, I have learned I must continually "examine and probe" my "ways." (Lam 3:40)
C.S. Lewis, in his Screwtape Letters, brings subtle potential corruptions of the human heart to light and inspires and challenges us to examine, re-examine, and then walk circumspectly.
So often we get the idea that evil is only in the murderer, the enslaver, the drunk, the whore, etc., and we miss the subtle evil capabilities within the heart that dwells right inside us! The scripture clearly teaches us that any attitude, thought-process, or behavior we hold onto, after the light of Christ as been shed and we have understood it as inconsistent with His ways, becomes sin to us. We are not trusting Him when we are knowingly turning away from Him, knowingly asserting our will over His. In essence, if we choose to assert our will over His, we are trusting ourselves, not Him.
"Hell," Lewis says, is "a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment."
Now, in Screwtape... Lewis doesn't intend to describe the "lake of fire" as it will literally be for eternal souls. Lewis is using "hell" in a literary sense to communicate the "hell-like" existence we humans create if left to our natural state. He says his point in the book is not to describe hell or demons; it is to shed light on the human condition. He does this effectively.
For example, he depicts a vice in our interaction and communication with one another. He says we have the ability to take offense when none is intended and yet assume that anything we say should only ever be taken at face value.
Our natural human tendencies always take over if we stop the careful examination-accountability process. As Paul admonishes the Corinthian church, "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!"
(2 Corinthians 13:5)
May Abba help us see honestly where we are not like Christ, and may He help us repent (have a true change of mind) so we can allow HIM to shine through us!