Recently I wrote about the need to recover a vocabulary of sin and posted an example related to lying. A good number of readers asked for the other lists I have been compiling. I include them here along with introductory material similar to that in the first post. These lists are always a work in progress, so please feel free to send me any additions you have.
Indeed, over the years we have steadily been losing the vocabulary of sin. Saying “I have sinned” is often replaced by “I made a mistake,” or “I made a poor decision,” or “I’m sorry if my behavior was hurtful in some way.”
Not only are we slow to say we have sinned, we are also ignorant of the subtleties of sin, in part because our vocabulary about sin is so limited. In this state we lose a certain advantage over sin because to name something is the beginning of isolating it and having increasing authority over it. When I can name something, I can focus on it and work on it. It moves from the realm of the abstract and theoretical to the real world.
Over the years I have been compiling lists of the names for various sins. I do this as an outgrowth of deliverance ministry, in which the importance of naming demons cannot be overestimated. Most demons resist disclosing their names mightily because once the exorcist knows the name of a demon, his authority over it is magnified in Jesus.
This is also true in the ordinary situations of life, where demons tempt us, and where the world and our own flesh compound the problem. The more we can name the subtleties of sin the less difficult it is to gain mastery over them.
There are not many people who will call themselves sinners easily. They have very little awareness of subtleties of sin. Most will say things like this: “I don’t tell lies—at least not big ones,” “I’m not really that prideful,” or “I’m not that narcissistic, at least not as much as so-and-so is.” In the case of fear or low self-esteem, many don’t see it as sinful at all. We consider ourselves victims of these drives and fail to recognize how many sinful actions proceed from them. It’s hard to get far into these lists without realizing that such drives are alarmingly common to us, even if by other means and words. Don’t be discouraged; pick a few and work on overcoming them. Naming them gives us focus and power; by God’s grace, progress can be made by naming the demons that serve these evils.
Pray this prayer: “All evil thoughts and demon-spirits, we name you and reject you in the name of Jesus. We ask every grace from God to be rooted in His truth about who we are and out of this proper vision to do and say what is right, not what is evil, self-serving, or harmful. Jesus, you said, ‘I am the Truth.’ Live in us and drive from us all that is not true.”
Many exorcists use lists like the ones below against demons that refuse to state their name. In effect, the exorcist says, “If you won’t tell me your name then I will name you.” This typically causes the demon great pain in addition to that caused by the reading of the Rite of Exorcism itself.
For all of us, naming the drives of sin has a similar effect. It brings them out of obscurity and into the light of reason where their darkness can be scattered. It takes time, but these drives will surely diminish if we name them and consistently rebuke them when they arise.
Here, then, are all the lists of words and phrases I am currently compiling:
Boasting, Conceit, Bragging, Haughtiness, Arrogance, Detraction, Aggrandizement, Braggadocio, Puffery, Grandiosity, Self-importance, Imposing, Obdurate, Judgmental, Wrath at God, Pride of vocation, Pride of place, Nursing wounds, Insolence, Rudeness, Vanity, Vainglory, Superiority, Indignation, Self-righteousness, Resistance, Non-submissive, Repelling, Open ears to evil, Politicizing, Polarization, Supremacy, Preeminence, Defiance, Challenge, Opposition, Antagonism, Spoiled, Snooty, Incorrigible, Willfulness, Worldly success, Worldly achievement, Prowess, Fanaticism, Radicalism, Self-magnification, Self-satisfied, Overconfident, Opinionated, Machismo, Egotism, Unspiritual, Competitive, Bloated, Controlling, Manipulative, Dominating, Domineering, Raw power, Exalted feelings, Scheming, Plotting, Dishonoring, Disproving, Discrediting, Argumentative, Contrarian, Playing devil’s advocate, Cunning, Conniving, Condescending, Idolatry, Intellectualizing, Self-actualization, Self-elevation, Comparison, Envy, Party factions, Minimization of sin, Unruly, Wild, Shocking, Ostentatious, Portentous, Pretentious, Showy, Free-spirited, Indignation, Spiritual superiority, Supervisory, Regulatory, Grandiose, “It’s beneath my dignity,” Self-justification, Refusal to forgive, Indiscriminate sermonizing, Excessive correction of others, Touchy, Hypercritical, Sacrilegious, Blithe, Unconcerned, Dismissive, Disdainful, Disrespectful, Flippant, Trivializing, Exorbitant, Scornful, Poverty of Judas, Pharisaical, Sanctimonious, Contemptuous, Smug, Lawlessness, Supercilious, Grudging, Big-headed, Patronizing, Pompous, Stubborn, Immovable, Inflexible, Intransigent, Obstinate, Uncompromising, Unyielding, Controlling, “Only I can do it,” Workaholic, Arrogant expertise, Sinful curiosity, Demand to know, Insistent on rights, Bullying, Aggressive, Pig-headed, Impatient, Refusing to wait, “I am more important,” Bigotry, Racism, Chauvinism, Inconsiderate, Careless, Intolerant of others’ weaknesses and foibles, Noncompliant, Dissenting, Recalcitrant, Incorrigible, Unreasonable, Ungrateful, Arbitrary, Churlish, Coarse, Impolite, Truculent, Aggressively defiant, Self-Absorbed, Sociopathic, Know-it-all, Blustering, Vociferous, Loudmouth, Boor, Unrepentant, Shameless, Unremorseful, Unapologetic, Irresponsible, Unaware.
All pride and prideful spirits depart!
Egotistical, Insistent, Picky, Fussy, Choosy, Particular, Demanding, Nitpicking, Hyper-independence, Hypersensitivity, Antipathy, Daintiness, Thin-skinned, Pettiness, Willfulness, Preconceived notions, Presumptions, “Because I say so,” “That’s not fair,” “Me first,” “Why are you taking so long?”, “Who do you think you are?”, “It’s not my fault,” “I can do it myself,” “Gimme,” “Mine,” Unreflective, Unapologetic, Unashamed, Unrepentant, Perfectionism, Rigidity, Paranoia, Suspicion, Irrationality, Instability, Fickle, Immovable, Moody, Unpredictable, Inconsistent, Careless, Complex, Unbalanced, Deaf, Distorted hearing, Perverted judgment, Perverted (selfish) thinking, Refusal to be taught, Ill-formed conscience, Spiritual blindness, Hardness of heart, Duality, Imprudence, Impulsiveness, Compulsiveness, Recklessness, Interruption, Cutting off, Dismissal, Entrenchment, Excessively self-aware, Excessive self-love, Self-seeking, Self-gratification, Self-glorification, Self-aggrandizement, Self-absorbency, Self-idolatry, Self-indulgence, Self-reliance, Self-sufficiency, Self-promotion, Self-importance.
Restless, Agitated, Edgy, Terror, Fright, Worry, Apprehension, Trepidation, Dismay, Shock, Anguish, Anxiety, Uneasiness, Darkness, Grief, Trauma, Troubled, Weeping, Oppression, Conflict, Morbidity, Fixation, Nervousness, Jumpiness, Mania, Hysteria, Obsession, Preoccupation, Helplessness, Vulnerability, Feeling naked and exposed, Defenseless, Hopeless, Insomnia, Nightmares, Commotion, Disturbances, Disorders, Troubles, Shaky, Tense, Excitement, Turmoil, Confusion, Mayhem, Horror, Overcome, Over my head, Dread, Disgust, Gloom and doom, Desperation, Disappointment, Distraction, Negativity, Tremors, Tension, Headaches, Roaming around, Rumination, Nervous habits, Shackled, Bound, Pressured, Squeezed, Captive, Frozen, Isolated, Restricted, Paralyzed, Immobilized, Shut down, Walls, Coldness, Listlessness, Sluggishness, Sleepiness, Stress, Fatigue, Lethargy, Withdrawal from others and God, Discouragement, Loneliness, Foreboding, Ominous, Threatening, Ruining, Sadness, Despair, Despondency, Distressed, Disheartened, Powerless, Melancholy, Joyless, Crisis, Implosion, Recoiling, “I’m not able,” “I’m not worthy,” Self-condemnation, Perfectionism, Fear of pain, Fear of the cross, Fear of being hurt, Repression, Depression, Panic, Hurt, Rehearsing trouble, Paranoia, Suspicion, Fear of condemnation, Fear of judgment, Scrupulosity, Disordered fear of God, Excessive fear of Hell, Pessimism, Filtering out good news, Ingratitude, Discounting blessings and praise, Staying alone, Abandonment, Betrayal, Untrusting, Indifference, Blockages, Numbness, Closed up/in, Shut up/in, Locked up/in, Stupor, Separation anxiety, Strangulation, Suffocation, “Leave me alone,” Heaviness, Neglect, Loss, Defeat, Weakness of will, Excessive sentimentality, Drama, Blues, Bondage, Bound and gagged, Overly serious, Tied up in knots, Chained, Caught, Snared, Barbed wire, Imprisoned, Impossible, Nettling, Webbing, Avoidance, Humiliation, Inability to overcome, “All is lost.”
Phobias related to Heights, Crowds, Bridges, Planes, Water, Elevators, Hospitals, Close spaces, etc.
All demons and spirits of fear, depart!
Insecurity, Ineptness, Shy, Nervous, Wary, Inhibited, Lonely, Cowardly, Inability to accept or give love, Inability to accept praise, Shame, Embarrassment, Humiliation, Guilt, Feeling accused or blamed, Feeling ugly, Aversion, Avoidance, Feeling unloved, Feeling unwanted, Pessimism, Indifference, No pity, Lukewarmness, Defeat, Inadequacy, Labor, Toil, Drudgery, Self-rejection, Self-pity, Self-contempt, Self-destruction, Self-doubt, Self-abandonment, Lack of confidence, Poor self-image, Self-deprecation, Inferiority, Feeling useless, Disordered or excessive feelings of responsibility, Disordered or misplaced compassion, Introspection, Incredulity at Praise or accomplishment, Unforgiving of self and God, Indecisiveness, Scrupulosity, Sloth, Procrastination, Postponement, Anesthetized, Numbness, Building walls, Dazed, Forgetful, Indecision, Obstruction, Hyper-analytical, Distorted thinking, Wounded heart, Disconnectedness of thoughts and feelings, Disjointed spirit, Past wounds, Paralysis, Passivity, Forgetfulness, Attention deficit, Memory lapse, Memory loss, Obsessive-compulsive, Hesitancy, Compromise, Drama, Transferred feelings, Projection, Negativity, Noncreative, Dimorphic, Preoccupation with appearance, Overly focused on body, Controlling, Overly concerned with things out of one’s control, Passive-aggressive, Dead end, Holding in, Hiding, Avoiding, Dodging, Masks, Resentments, “I must be punished,” “I’m not allowed,” “This can’t happen for me,” “I’m not worthy,” “I can’t,” “I won’t,” “God can’t,” “God won’t,” “You can’t help me,” “I can’t be healed,” “They don’t like me,” “I’m not as able,” “I’m not as good”, “I’m not as attractive,” “They’re all laughing at me,” “I’m unwanted.”
Demons of low self-esteem, depart! I am a gifted child of God; even my weaknesses serve His purposes. I reject your defeatism!