Two years ago, a cold wet night with the ground moist from the rain that had fell earlier that evening. Driving in my first car, a couple of months after I had passed my driving test. Feeling confident and excited to drive myself and a friend back home after a fantastic night. I approach a roundabout and all of a sudden, my car swerves into road barrier. Luckily, the pavement is high so all my car does is bump into it. I immediately break and apply the handbrake and switch off the car, as taught in my driving lessons. I check to see if my friend is OK. Thank God, no one was hurt. I stepped outside to check the car for scratches or any damage. Again, thank God there is none.
After doing full checks and everything is ok, I resume my journey. I drop my friend off at her home and I go home to mine. Clearly still shaken up, I send her a text apologising and blaming the devil for what had happened. Being the professional Christian I was back then *rolls eyes* I rebuked the devil and thanked God that his plans to harm me did not prosper.
I share this story because it happened around this time two years ago and I was reminded of it. God taught me something through this story which humoured me a bit.
Why are we so quick to blame the devil for everything?
Reflecting back on what happened. It was obvious that it was my fault. I was the one who was speeding on approach to the roundabout. The roundabout has grass and it being a wet night, mud made an appearance too. So with me speeding, thinking I was capable of being on the Fast and Furious team, one of my tyres went over the roundabout, caught some mud, which caused my tire to slip on the wet road and spin my car into the barrier. But this never struck me as automatically it was the devil’s fault. I was quick to blame the devil rather than look at what I had done and ultimately the consequences of my actions. I mean, I somehow thought it was wise to speed on a wet road coming up to a roundabout!
It made me think. How many times have we immediately blamed the devil for certain events happening when in reality, certain events happen as the consequence of our sin or actions. The first time the devil was blamed for something was in the beginning! In Genesis (Genesis 3:8-19), Adam and Eve ate off the tree God specifically told them not to. They go into hiding and God finds them. Then ensued the blame game. Adam blames Eve. Eve blames the serpent (the devil). Blaming didn’t help in that situation as they still received a curse for their wrongdoing and it will not help us either.
The devil is absolutely worthy of blame for much of the evil in the world, but using the devil as a scapegoat for our own sinful choices is counterproductive to achieving victory over sin. The book of James (James 1:14-15a) says, “temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions.” Our sinful actions are a result of our desires. We sin, because we are sinful beings. Galatians 5 lists out the works of the flesh, not the devil. We need to accept that our actions do have consequences, regardless if it directly affects you or not.
But here is some good news. As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit residing in us that can help us overcome sin (1 John 4:4) and God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). If we sin, we really don’t have an excuse. We cannot blame the devil. We cannot blame our circumstances. We can only blame ourselves. And, until we recognise that the sin problem resides within us (Romans 7:20), we will never arrive at or accept the solution.
Let’s be aware of our actions and their possible consequences.
You’d be glad to know I no longer speed when approaching roundabouts.