Satan sells used objects

Needing to adapt to the new times, Satan decided to get rid of a whole lot of his stock of temptations. He placed an ad in the newspaper and attended his customers all day in his workshop.
It was a fantastic stock: stones for the virtuous to stumble over, mirrors for increasing one’s self-importance, and spectacles that reduced the importance of others. Some objects hanging on the wall drew a lot of attention: a dagger with a curved blade to be used on someone’s back, and tape-recorders that registered only gossip and lies.

– Don’t worry about the price! – shouted old Satan to the potential customers. – Take it home today and pay for it whenever you can!

One of the visitors noticed three tools lying in a corner that seemed to be quite worn and attracted little attention. But they were very expensive. Curious, he wanted to know the reason for that apparent discrepancy.
– They are worn because they are the ones that I use most of all – answered Satan with a laugh. – If they drew a lot of attention, people would know how to protect themselves.

– However, they are both worth the price I am asking for them: one is Doubt, the other is the Inferiority Complex, the third is Bitterness. All the other temptations can sometimes fail, but these three always work.


  1. hmmmm…the 3 that all result to the same thing in common: Becoming your worst enemy. No wonder they were the most expensive and guaranteed to work. They will all result in a state of emotional instability, stopping us from moving forward and being at peace with ourselves.

  2. juan says:

    we are sinners because we have sinned. not because we always will. someones nature is what they do and feel most of their lives, like to love or hate, but i do believe that our wings may unfold when the time is right and if faith is our lifelong companion then it may be so aswell.

  3. Peter says:

    I’m surprised because I recently read a review and put that he has only two luxury items. Now appears another one.

  4. MoniQ says:

    doubt, inferiority complex, bitterness – I am sick and much more…of it!!! funny, I’ve found the story today when of devil’s tricks and work, but Paulo posted it 8 months ago, exactly on very first day when I came somewhere to follow my path, to do something with sense, to accomplish what I was not able to have done earlier – to re-cover, to re-start believe in people, return to life, reassemble… actually to re………every-things – and, I am so sorry that after 8 months, all my life and work is just about survive – not joy, challenge, beliefs, and… “you can do it!”

  5. Chari says:

    It’s always easier to doubt. But it dampens one’s faith and gives way to fear. Fear is the enemy of faith. And it’s much much better to KEEP THE FAITH.

    Thank God i was able to read this! Thanks Mr Paulo Coehlo. I am a big big fan of yours! :)

  6. Belinajewel says:

    How easy it is to forget that what good we do to serve others, is good to our selves, we also use the knife to stab our own bakcs every time we do a misdeed.

  7. Belinajewel says:

    How easy it is to forget that what good we do to serve others, is good to our selves, we also use the knife to stab our own bakcs every time we do a missdeed.

  8. karen says:

    im reminded of the line i read before and if im not mistaken this is written by paulo coelho but i dont remember the exact words..”most human beings nowadays learn more from biases rather than virtues..”

    is it because we should always fail in order to learn?

  9. HLA SEí‘OR COELHO me gustaria que tambien escribiera en español ya que no entiendo lo que dice y asi no puedo opinar.SEA FELIZ

  10. Domingo says:

    I believe there are not more inferior doubts in here.. jeje

  11. Paul says:

    Like the seven deadly sins, these ones catch out everyone at some time in their life! He is certainly devious.

  12. kaveeta says:

    Felt like I had heard this story before, almost like a DEJAVU.What I got instantly when I read this story is we love to focus on what is not right and get so drawn into the game of trying to fix it or change it and forgetting the truth that its just a game of mere mindlessness coming from the ego which is feeling the Doubt,Inferiority Complex and Bitterness.

  13. Meetashi Makar says:

    this is so true.. each one leads to the next state of the mind…. so if we stop ourselves at the first step itself, accepting perfection in imperfection.. for self and all around us, people or situations then nothing else matters.. when there is no self doubt, there will not emerge any inferiority of self and thus no purging of bitterness. We will feel feel whole and complete ,just the way we are. Simply Perfect :-)

  14. Daniela Kunz says:

    How very true this is. Thank you for sharing Paulo! Believing in oneself and just DOING what one’s heart really wants and is set out to do IS a MUST!

  15. Olive says:

    Wonderful parable.

    These three can rob us of our happiness. However, I feel that some amount of doubt allows us to experience the fullness of faith as it trickles down our heart, replacing doubt. What a beautiful feeling it evokes!

  16. Dreamcatcher says:

    Luv and peace

  17. Dimitri says:

    Nice story but explain to me, I know that I’m a useless piece of crap, as the rest of humanity is. And I have numerous doubts about my Ego….so why am I almost perfectly happy. ??? ;)

    1. Ava says:

      Because you are who you are…

  18. maguy says:

    i think doubt is not wrong as much as we search for the truth with God and not away..sometimes doubt can lead us to believe more if we found the right answers to our questions..

    1. claudie says:

      Never doubt ’cause the answer will never come….

  19. Alfe says:

    This is a good story. Doubt, Inferiority complex, and bitterness are the most powerful tools from the enemy says the story. But I say the devil has no power over me because Jesus Christ is alive and Jesus lives in me. The devil has been defeated after the resurection of JesusChrist. Believe this and you will be free!

  20. Claudia says:

    I actually think that these three tools are necessary. Only by experiencing these feelings or receiving them from others we learn their negative effects in our lives and the lives of people around us. Lifetime after lifetime we’ve been using them to grow. How else can a child learn to walk and then run if he doesn’t fall a thousand times first? I think we have both good and evil seeds ingrained in ourselves, which ones to use is what we call free will, and that’s the gift God gave us. In the end, even after choosing to use those tools for a while, even for years, we eventually put them down when they don’t work for us anymore. Not only that, we completely stop buying these “used objects”.

  21. Jorisl says:

    I had a couple months ago a fight with my girlfriend.
    We had the discution whether Inferiority Complex is a sinn.
    Now I have a nice and meaningfull story to tell her.

    But I too have the problem being tempted to be bitter. This text will hopefully give me the strengt to resist my sinns.

  22. Andrea says:

    This is a wonderful story, an also so true….thanks for sharing this with everyone…
    Also, if Mr. Coelho would allow me I would like to translate this passage in Spanish, because I noticed there were some people who couldn’t fully understand it in English and I truly believe the message in the story is very important that everyone gets..

  23. olga says:

    this is very curious, yesterday night i dreamed that my husband had to talk to the devil , evoqued him with inciense etc… so he could find out what is happening inside of him and how to solve it , finally he had to kill the devil … this is amarvelous “coincidence” “

    1. Sunrise says:

      i hope my soulmate is able to do that too, i was once under satan’s spell, and it was very hard to brake free, but it’s my mission on earth to be of light, not of darkness, my soulmate is trapped in the darkness, satan is a great manipulator… controlling pure people not only through these tools but even worse through our goodness…

      brake free, you were born an angel like me…

    2. Magdy says:

      Crying.He’s really good indeed.I hope your soulmate will be set free.Soulmates can’t never break apart,no matter what.Their bounds are eternal.Your soulmate sees straight away when an attitude has completely changed:anger like wanting to kick and to break things,taking it off on the people around you too.But your soulmate knows it is not you.Only prayer and love work…

      He often comes at night while you sleep,whispers in your ears and walks in your dreams.When you are the most vulnerable.He finds a gate.You getting lost in your dream..running,trying to find a way out..

      But he can’t take love that surrounds you.He can’t take it and this is why he tries to find a gate..

      May he go back where he belongs,trapped in The Tower,locked,and bury the keys somewhere he cannot go…

    3. Sunrise says:

      see how you talk like a hopeless person, who will supposedly set you free?

      the problem is my soulmate fears satan… he has to have faith in the light, specially his own light.

      kill the demons

    4. Magdi says:

      Done.Angels speak through other people.Just did.

      All the best

  24. Gypsylee (solyna) says:

    You know Paulo, everyone has at one time or another struggled with those two vices. I wish I didn´t bump in to these demonic tools, but I do. And today, I will put a face to them so that every time I encounter Doubt and Inferiority Complex I can punch them right in their mouth and let them bleed of Confidence and Self Worth.
    Funny how they wear different faces. At one time they look like a teacher who made me feel small and stupid, at times, they may look like an old boyfriend who let me think I was nuts, at times they look like a neighbor that caused me so much grief, or a parent who didn´t believe in me, many faces…
    I know these opponents are strong, very strong and often use their strength but they need my energy in order to do a complete work on me. I will fight with all my might because for too too long I let these tools rule my universe, let them install fear (their cousin) into me. I will now purposely go do something I have feared for to long and start showing these two thugs what I am willing to do to reclaim my life and stop living what they have imposed on me.
    Thanks Paulo!

  25. claudia c says:

    spanish also…please my friend spiritual,small english,very,very small my english,god bless you paulo and your family!!!

  26. Don’t let Satan to control you!!!!

  27. Mojgan says:

    Doubt always served to sttenghen my believe, may be goes back to your yestreday phrase Paulo, use your opponent energy against him.

    1. Paulo Coelho says:

      Por favor hagalo! Gracias

  28. Martha says:

    hola Sr Coelho, no puedo opinar poque esta en ingles .Por favor podria tener el informe en español o en portugues que algo entiendo .GRACIAS!!!Bendiciones!!!

  29. Trish says:

    I think the red flag for me has always been that if I fear something, I should face it and when I confront that “big” fear that I have built up so big in my mind I find that it was all just a big illusion I allowed myself to believe was a truth. Doubt and inferiority are just tools of your ego to keep you from confronting your fears – i.e. enabling the ego to hold you back from your true potential, something we all have the capacity to reach, but when you arrive at this place the ego is no longer in control.

  30. Hyunjoo says:

    To think back of those days when I was lost, certainly, there was “Doubt” and “Inferiority Complex”. These tools had its own motors to drag me down and generated more of its own kind.

    I got up again, thanx to Jesus. Jesus made me special, restored my identity and reminded me that I am his. The end of doubt and inferiority complex trap.

    I even thank God for giving me such a low point because now I know how to get up and to escape from similar traps in the future.

  31. Radhika says:

    A question – Why would the Satan want to get ride of these temtations in first place? They still are relevant to the times….

    It also makes me wonder what would his new tools be…. ?

  32. sara says:

    doubt and believe can never come together.. one can either doubt or believe

  33. Domingo says:

    The psyche produces its doubts and most of the time it could be inflicted by others. It could create the inferiority complex that comes with negative experiences usually when you compare yourself to others and/or try to form part of a group that does not accept you. On both cases you can avoid these conditions; one is to change your environment including some friends or all of it in some cases. The most important change is to love you and to accept others as they are; by doing this you gain control of your environment and awareness of you feelings at the moment. No past of future should be dominating your present! dp

    1. Beatriz says:

      I agree and would like to add that forgiveness of oneself and of others is the stepping stone to loving yourself and others. bp

    2. Laurie Norris says:

      Simple truth so well stated. Thank You

  34. medhat says:

    u got one right which is doubt coz it got some physiological philosphy , but the other is pure disease some got it and somr not !

  35. Bianca says:

    Thank you! I some times get so caught up in neagtive thoughts that I later on believe that there is something wrong with me! Reading this post has once again made me realise that (1) I am not alone and (2) God is in control and we should not let the devil get the better of us!!

    I choose to live!



  36. jan says:

    i am sure nobody bought these or satan couldnt do hid job !!! now could he

  37. Marianne says:

    This is an amazing tale – it was sent as if by God! (Maybe He did!)
    We are going through a really tough time in Zimbabwe and this is so true – we need to stop doubting and start trusting the Big Surfer!

  38. Elie says:

    My opinion :

    Inferiority descend from doubt as you must be uncertain about your capacities to think like someone who suffers from inferiority complex, so we are talking about a chain; doubt, inferiority, fear, leak in self-confidence and so on.

    As usual, to beat Satan, we use his energy like Dr. Paulo teaches; We can focus on things that matter for us, not for others, we can find our strong points which can help us develop our skills, fear less, control our behavior and firing on doubt with confidence, intelligence and peace …

  39. too true… doubt and the inferiority complex have been my downfall many a time.

  40. Eileen says:

    Esto es muy cierto, y aveces caemos muchos los ineptos…

  41. Mariazinha says:

    Pois o diabo é mto espertinho mesmo, dúvida e complexo de inferioridade sí£o ótimas artimanhas q o ele usa p/ nos fazer perder a fé em nós mesmos, mas, qrido Guerreiro, Deus tbém anda se atualizando, e acha novos modos de nos levar pra o Céu, e fazer com q a gente volte a acreditar na vida, em nós mesmos e N’Ele.
    Terapia e psicólogos é uma dessas modernidades de Deus.
    A RCC tbém.

    Bjos, Deus te ilumine Guerreiro!

  42. Doubt is overwhelming. Combined with an inferiority complex is overwhelming.

    1. marie-christine says:

      I like your designs. Thank you.

  43. Mate Flores says:

    everything Im and everything I have is been given,I have no fear and everywhere I go I share the JOy.

  44. nad1 says:

    Doubt and inferiority complex, could be turned within one second into Believe, with a courageous word from a friend for example.

  45. passerby says:

    …because without DOUBT, FAITH wouldn’t make sense.

  46. Rossana Curri says:

    You definitely gave me – one more time – something to think about…
    Thank you, Paulo.

    Rossana Curri

  47. Madalina Chitulescu says:

    You are so right again!!!!!!!!!

  48. anonymous says:

    really doubt and inferiority complex can make any person behave lyk a fool,
    but think d word believe(i guess its opposite of doubt)
    word LIE sits right in middle of it,
    how come one shouldnt doubt n believe
    sir coelho…………

  49. James says:

    As many have mentioned we should pray for wisdom and strength,to know the truth. As a Priest explained to me: “put your problems and doubts in God’s presence”.

    1. Aparna says:

      I think these three things helps to do reality check and to know where we stand …WITH OUT THESE SURVIAL IS IMPOSSIBLE