Pope Francis has issued a warning that I find completely accurate from my own experience, and very appropriate for today's morally rudderless world.
In his homily ... the Pope said that in the spiritual life “temptations always return, the evil spirit never gets tired.” If he has been kicked out once, he is patient, waiting to return, and “If you let him in, you fall into a worse situation.”
In fact, Francis said, in the gospel story, at first it was clear that it was the devil who was causing problems. But afterward, “The evil one conceals himself, and comes with his very polite friends, knocking at the door, asking permission, but then moves in and spends time with the man and, little by little, starts giving the orders.”
With his “good manners,” Francis said, the devil makes the man fall into moral relativism, calming his conscience.
We start saying things like “This happens everywhere” and “We are all sinners,” Francis said. Yet “When we say everybody, we mean nobody,” he said. “And so we live this worldliness that is the child of the evil spirit.”
“Calming the conscience, numbing the conscience, this is a great evil,” he said.
“When the devil manages to numb your conscience he has won a real victory,” Francis said, because “he has become the master of your conscience.”
There's more at the link.
That's exactly the progression I've seen in my own life from time to time, and in the lives of many people I've ministered to as a pastor. Once one's on that slippery slope, it isn't long before one starts thinking of God in one's own image and likeness, instead of remembering that He made us to be in His own image and likeness. Adam4d offers a very thought-provoking cartoon illustrating that error.
If you're at all religious or spiritually minded, I urge you to read the Pope's comments in full. I think they're an important warning to all of us - including yours truly.