Once upon a time, Satan was having a garage sale. There, standing in little groups were all of his bright, shiny trinkets. Here were tools that make it easy to tear others down for use as stepping stones. And over there were some lenses for magnifying ones own importance, which, if you looked through them the other way, you could also use to belittle others, or even one’s self. Against the wall was the usual assortment of gardening implements guaranteed to help your pride grow by leaps and bounds: the rake of scorn, the shovel of jealousy for digging a pit for your neighbor, the tools of gossip and backbiting, of selfishness and apathy. All of these were pleasing to the eye and came complete with fabulous promises and guarantees of prosperity. Prices, of course, were steep; but not to worry! Free credit was extended to one and all. “Take it home, use it, and you won’t have to pay until later!” old Satan cried, as he hawked his wares.
The visitor, as he browsed, noticed two well worn, non-descript tools standing in one corner. Not being nearly as tempting as the other items, he found it curious that these two tools had price tags higher than any other. When he asked why, Satan just laughed and said, “Well, that’s because I use them so much. If they weren’t so plain looking, people might see them for what they were.” Satan pointed to the two tools, saying, “You see, that one’s Doubt and that one’s Discouragement — and those will work when nothing else will.”