It Wasn't Me
James 1:14 “...but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.”
1 John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
The phrase “The Devil made me do it!” rings a bell for many—it’s a common excuse folks use when they slip up or lose control. While an adversary is prowling around, seeking to cause chaos, it’s crucial to realize that as followers of Christ, we carry the power of God within us.
Comedian Flip Wilson created hilarious characters in the 70s. He had “Reverend,” the friendly yet pompous pastor of the “Church of What’s Happening Now,” and the sassy Geraldine Jones. She’d pull off impulsive acts, like buying a dress, and blame it on the Devil with her famous line, “The Devil made me do it!”. It became a cultural phenomenon, with everyone chuckling at her excuse, even though we knew better.
Sure, the Devil’s keen on steering us toward sin, but deep down, we’re all aware of the truth: we are responsible for our actions. Temptation is a lifelong battle, but the good news is that God hasn’t abandoned us in that struggle. He’s equipped us with everything we need to stand against sin and Satan (check out Ephesians 6:10-18 and 1 John 4:4). We can resist. We have a great opportunity to glorify Christ by responding with faithfulness in the face of temptation by just doing right!
Instead of focusing solely on resisting temptation, be proactive and replace negative habits with positive ones. For instance, if anger is an issue, anticipate situations when you typically get angry and think through how you will respond with patience and grace. Practice patience and forgiveness actively. Rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen you. Pray for his intervention and transformation in areas where you struggle.
Lord, reveal to me the areas where I need to overcome temptations. Strengthen me in moments of weakness and grant me the resilience to stand firm. Holy Spirit, guide me as I navigate the challenges and choices that come my way. In Jesus' name. Amen.