The Devil Made Me Do It!
Posted by January 4, 2018on
How many times do we use such excuses to justify our behavior?
Some may remember Flip Wilson on the Ed Sullivan Show many years ago when he gave a short satire of a wife coming home with a new dress. She explained that “the devil made me buy this dress!”
The humorous line from this comedy routine does represent a very common human tendency: to blame others for our own mistakes. This goes all the way back to the first sin in human history. After they both decided to eat the forbidden fruit, Adam blamed Eve while Eve blamed the serpent (Genesis 3:12-13). But even though Satan was a major factor—He didn’t make Eve eat the fruit. And Eve didn’t make Adam eat the fruit. They each made their choice, but blamed others.
Do we play the blame game?
People are eager to blame others for their own reactions. Satan is the deceiver of the whole world. He influences us and he broadcasts in moods and attitudes, but he doesn’t make us do anything.
What is good character? Isn’t it doing the right thing no matter what others do or say? How many times do we feel that if someone had said something different, then we would have acted differently to them? “Well, if she hadn’t said that to me, I wouldn’t have yelled at her. She shouldn’t say those things; she makes me angry!”
In other words, we give others permission to shape our conduct or behavior!
Isn’t it interesting how many times we can justify our bad temper, reactionary words or wrong actions because of the way someone treated us?
Where is accountability?
Few people are willing to accept accountability anymore! We often see people caught doing something wrong blaming everyone but themselves for the problem.
If we respond to people because of the way they talked to us, then it is our choice, not that person’s fault. Otherwise what we are saying is that we can’t control ourselves, so we let others control us.
It takes a lot of self-control to act responsibly instead of just reacting to someone. But how many today exercise control of their tongue or actions? It seems everything is on the table—we can do or say anything we want and won’t suffer any consequences for it. But, in the long run, people who don’t learn and practice self-control will eventually pay for it, either in their marriages, their jobs or relationships.
Resist Satan’s influence!
The apostle James wrote, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7, emphasis added).
So does the devil really make us do it? Or will we submit ourselves to God and make the right choices and practice self-control?
For more insight on taking responsibility for our mistakes, read “Six Essential Elements of an Effective Apology.”