Satan Loves Baby Steps 

  • Randy Karlberg
Man walking on a dirt trail

If you are even a slight fan of the cinema industry and its historical films chances are the term “Baby Steps” conjures up in you the image of Bill Murray and his dealings with psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin.  In this 1991 comedy Bob (Bill Murray) desperately seeks help from Dr. Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) for learning how to work through the challenges of his life.  Dr. Marvin’s suggestion is for Bob to read the most amazing new book written on the subject entitled, “Baby Steps.”  It just so happens that the book is written by Dr. Marvin himself and he has a well-stocked supply of books to sell on-hand in his office.  He explains to Bob the title and main gist of the book means “setting small reasonable goals for yourself, one step at a time.”  Bob exclaims how this new method has transformed his life.  He shares how he is so thankful that he has met the one doctor in the world who can help him!  The rest of the movie goes on to reveal Bob showing up in every area of Dr. Marvin’s life which leads him to have great disdain for his patient Bob who seems to get along with Dr. Marvin’s family better than he does.


Now the concept of taking one small step followed by another small step to gradually overcome fearful situations or accomplish life goals is a worthy endeavor.  Making a decision to do the next right thing is good advice when someone is fearful of what to do next.  Taking situations one step at a time can be very helpful counsel.   This practice is used for our good, in the same way I would argue, Satan loves to use Baby Steps with the goal of destroying us.  Rarely does a person make a large decision that leads them into sin.  Most of the time we use a series of compromises that gradually lead us down a path that makes the choice to enter into sin a reasonable decision.  The book of James explains it this way.  James 1:12-15, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.  Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He Himself tempts no one.  But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”  This is not a very complicated passage.  It is basically saying that our own fleshly desires are the root of sin in our lives.  And the way we find ourselves committing sinful acts is by the casual compromises we rationalize in our minds.  The passive acceptance of small, seemingly insignificant concessions are, indeed, significant.  These decisions are a big deal!  We need to take care of our heart and mind in the minor decisions that come to us each day.  This is why II Corinthians 10:5 tells us to “take every thought captive to obey Christ.”  If we are going to obey Christ, then there is no decision or thought that is insignificant.  Satan loves to convince us that Baby Steps of compromise are not sinful and are nothing to concern ourselves with.  This is one of the deceptions that is used to get us to follow our own sinful desires. 


In Romans 7:18-19 Paul tells us regarding his own desires, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.  For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.”  This is the spiritual battle that rages inside each of us.  It helps to know some of the tactics that our adversary uses to drag us down.  Satan loves to use Baby Steps!  Take note of this and ask the Lord for strength to hold ourselves accountable to honor Him in the small areas of life.  This will help keep us from straying down the path that leads us where we don’t want to go.  Be steadfast even in the small stuff!