By Chaplain (Maj.) Daryl Densford
Special to GUIDON
Readers over the age of 50 may remember the comedian Flip Wilson, whose television series in the early 70s was the second highest rated show on network television.
One of the comedic characters Wilson played was Geraldine Jones, who often justified her questionable actions by saying, “The Devil made me do it!”
We find the first use of this sentiment in Genesis 3:8-15, when God confronts Adam and Eve for their disobedience. When He asked Adam what happened, Adam blamed his sin on Eve. When God asked Eve for an explanation, she blamed her sin on the serpent, who represented the Devil.
This is an example of human nature, at least human nature since sin entered the world.
Often though, it is not the Devil who made us do it, but our own poor choices.
When confronted with temptation, we can say either “yes” or “no.” When we choose to say “yes” we can’t blame it on the Devil, but we are to blame. Granted, we are influenced by evil, by sin, by our human nature, but it still boils down to that moment when we decide what we are going to do.
The great news is that we are not left with only the influence of evil. God has provided for us the help that we need to make the right choice when confronted with doing right or wrong. He has given us his spirit, the Holy Spirit, to empower us to do what is right and to alert us when we do what is wrong.
Greater news still, is the grace that he gives us when we do make the wrong choice. Grace, unmerited favor, forgiveness for our sins, restoration to right relationship with God. These are God’s promises, and this is the good side of sin.
So, when confronted with a decision to do what is right or give in to what is wrong, call on God to help you do what is right. But if you fail and make a bad decision, hope is not lost. Call on God for forgiveness and renewal and his grace will be poured out on you.
(Editor’s note: Densford is the chaplain resource manager at the Fort Leonard Wood Religious Support Office.)