A man robbed the corner convenience store of $122.51. As he was leaving, he jerked his ski mask off and burst out laughing at his successful robbery.
He charged out the door right into two police officers who promptly escorted him to their squad car.
“Take your hands off me,” he yelled. “I didn’t do nothing.”
“Except get caught on a security camera pulling off your disguise,” the officer responded.
“Don’t get in my face, copper. The devil made me do it.”
“Did he, now?” the officer replied. “Since you want someone to blame, let’s at least blame the right person.”
We choose to rob stores, we choose to cheat on our spouses, we choose to lie on income taxes, and we choose to bad-mouth our bosses.
Does the devil share in this? Oh, he’s on the sidelines applauding our choices. Our wrong choices! As we shift responsibility, we make him look good, for he is the author of the book on evil.
The gospel writer Mark clearly cites the source of evil: “All these evils [like robbery] come from inside and make a man unclean.” (7:23) So, whom do we blame when our hand gets caught in the cookie jar? Are we like the robber who thought his behavior was motivated by the evil one or do we take God at his Word that the evil motivation is from our iniquitous hearts?
The robber wanted to blame someone else for his evil choice, but he couldn’t blame the devil this time. The devil had nothing to do with the robbery.
Do you believe that the devil can motivate us to do evil?