The constant gripe about my generation is that we don’t know how to work or take responsibility. Look at the headlines, safe spaces, and political correctness. Our’s is an easily offended generation that gets triggered by two biological genders and saying the unpopular things like, “Islamic terrorism is a problem.” Well, not all of us are like that, but that portion is so astoundingly and ridiculously loud that they’re hard to ignore – no matter how bad I want to and wish we could ignore them.
As a millennial myself, I see a growing trend among our generation that is more rapidly infiltrating the Church than it ever had infiltrated it. That is that we like quick and easy, which leads to two things: an inability to take full and total responsibility and a problem with real work.
Let us look at the idea that demons or the Satan have to influence us to sin. Sin is corruption, and it separates us from God; just so we’re clear from what base I’m approaching.
So, if someone sins, it’s demonic? Dating back to the Garden of Eden, Satan and demons were never really the problem. Human nature is the problem. Eve’s human nature got us into this.
“The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.”
Genesis 3:4-6 NASB
She chose the fruit. Satan dangled it in front of her. Adam chose the fruit because his wife gave it to him.
Human nature is at its core a multitude choices. Those choices, sins, and mistakes are not always caused by Satan. We choose them.
Human nature has proven time and again that it does enough harm on its own without the aid of . David and Bathsheba? Solomon and his many, many wives? What about Joseph’s brothers selling him out of jealousy?
Someone mentioned to me that craving tattoos was possibly demonic. As far as “craving” tattoos, it’s silly to imply it’s wholly demonic. They coupled “craving” and “obsession” together. (To clarify, I do not advocate for tattoos. I do not have any, and Lord permitting, I will not have any.) It’s just human nature. They like it. I crave macaroni and cheese nearly everyday, and, honestly, I’m a tad obsessive over Grey’s Anatomy, Doctor Who, Star Wars, NASCAR, and football. I like them.
You get to choose your master – God or man. Everyone that commits sin – as we all do – is a slave to sin. We, however, get a choice because of the cross. It’s the same choice Adam and Eve had dangling in front of them. “God or me?”
“Be angry, and yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.
Do not give the devil an opportunity? That means do not allow the enemy to take a situation and turn it into something worse. We are not supposed to put ourselves in positions that will lead us to the devil having an opportunity to tempt us, but Paul continues:
He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
Ephesians 4:26-32 NASB
Paul is clear. We are to choose to do, speak, and be good. We cannot accidentally live for God. It’s a deliberate choice everyday that we wake up. Then, we get tempted. We want to blame Satan, but Satan just dangles what we want out there. We choose to grab it, or we choose not to grab it.
Adam blamed Eve. God had none of that. Eve blamed the serpent. So, God punished everyone. Adam and Eve got kicked out of the Garden. Humanity got to work for their food. Women got pain in childbirth. The serpent lost his legs.
Man’s responsibility was to take care of the Garden, and not eat of the tree of knowledge. We messed that up because human nature is self-serving. That is why Jesus emphasizes laying down our life, dying to sins, and taking up His cross.
Human nature is precisely why repentance is so important, and it’s why we are to confess our sins to God. Unlike in the Garden, we have to take responsibility for our actions and recognize that God is the Giver of Life – that Jesus’s sacrifice was enough for us.
Christians today are weak because we think passing off our shortcomings on Satan is a viable choice. It’s not. To fully repent we must take responsibility. Stop blaming a demon or Satan. Sometimes you’re just dumb and make a mistake. Sometimes you slip up. Satan cannot make you sin, but he can dangle it in front of you. Thankfully, when we do mess up, there is the blood of Jesus Christ to cover us. Still, when He set us free from sin, He called us to choose everyday to live an honorable, good life of humility, grace, and love.