It’s human nature to pass blame on to someone else. The Bible shows us that, even from the beginning, man was busy trying to shift blame for his own sin. When God asked Adam if he’d eaten from the only tree He commanded him not to eat from, Adam blamed Eve, and in turn blamed God saying, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” And Eve is just as bad. “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
And there we have the first example of people blaming Satan for their own mistakes. And this is a phenomenon that I find myself coming across a lot in my life. Back during college and even in recent months, I have heard people who are caught up in sin blaming Satan for their actions.
“Satan was just using that as a way to make me stumble.”
I’ll admit, about 90% (give or take) of my exposure to Christianity has been Baptist. So maybe this is just a popular ideology among Baptists. Those of you reading this that were exposed to other denominations; let me know if this phenomenon has spread throughout all of Christianity. I’m interested to read comments about this.
I’ll be honest. I’m sick of hearing the “devil made me do it” excuse. It’s such a cop out. It’s pathetic really. It’s what people say when they don’t want to take responsibility for their own stupid choices.
As a follower of Christ, I firmly believe that Satan was defeated when Jesus gave up his life as a sacrifice. Sure, I believe Satan is still in the world having his way with his people. But if you find yourself under the grace and protection of God, then Satan has no power over you. None. Zero. Satan is impotent when it comes to Christians.
Does that mean that I’m now sinless? Not at all. I’m still human. Part of the human condition is our frailty and our imperfection. Yes, I strive for perfection. I strive to live up to the example that Jesus set all those years ago in living His own perfect life. But I falter all the time. But I don’t blame Satan for my missteps.
If I’m sitting in front of my computer and I find myself looking at a pornographic website, is it because Satan snuck in and typed the address in the web browser? If I’m out with friends at a restaurant that serves alcohol and walk away stumbling drunk, is it because Satan came in and bought me that first drink? If I get cut off in traffic and start shouting obscenities at the driver in front of me, is it because Satan was whispering those words in my ear?
The answer is no. My human condition is weak. I’m the one who chose to surf the web to inappropriate websites. I’m the one who laid down the cash for that first beer. I’m the one who opened my mouth and let trash come out of it.
I can’t claim to know all the ins and outs of what’s deemed to be spiritual warfare. I’ve already said that I believe Satan is still out there in the world. But he isn’t ever-present and isn’t all-knowing. Temptations are bound to come our way, but it’s up to us whether we fall for those temptations or stand strong against them. Stop blaming some supernatural entity for your screw-ups.