Does the Devil Really Make Us Do It?
by Donna Morton
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My nephew Scott once had an accident on his dirt bike. It left him with two broken arms, both which were put in full casts. Though I’m sure it was medically necessary, it posed a question: how was he supposed to do…well, anything?
The truth is, he couldn’t do anything, which is why my husband, John, and I insisted he stay at our house until his arms healed. He gladly accepted, but only lasted a week in what he called a “semi-state of mummification.”
“This is crazy,” he told John one afternoon. “I need at least one free arm.”
Dr. John, who is NOT a doctor, concurred. He went into the garage and returned with a hack saw. With that “trust me, buddy” look men only give to other men, he proceeded to remove one of Scott’s casts.
As I walked in on this, one thought crossed my mind and it was narrated by comedienne Jeff Foxworthy:
“If your uncle removes your cast with a hack saw…you MIGHT be a redneck.”
Shaking my head, I announced, “And my Bible study leader wonders why our family always needs prayer.”
My then-leader said there were more prayer requests from my family than any other. This was no surprise as we do appear to be victims waiting for an accident. Take my sister’s head. It’s a ball magnet, and whether she’s in the vicinity of a tennis court or a baseball field, she’s certain to get smacked for a loop. Then there is my youngest son, who is pure honey for anything painful. If there is one jelly fish in the entire Atlantic Ocean, it will find him in a crowd of 2000 boogie boarders.
You don’t want to go on vacation with my family. We often take trips that include grandparents, parents, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, pets and everyone else from the whole accident prone crowd. These “Big Family Vacations” always find us converging in the same place—the Emergency Room.
Someone always ends up there. Over the years, we’ve made the trip due to chlorine overload, shellfish reactions, coral reef abrasions, lion cub bites, oil spot slips, not letting go of a rope swing, picnic table diving (it’s sort of a sport) and falling from the plank of a “pirate ship day cruise adventure.” (Don’t even ask.)
We aren’t klutzes; we just engage in activities that don’t pass safety standards. We gals often wear the wrong shoes even though we know better—and this has resulted in broken ankles and face plants. Some are enthusiastic for the extreme, such as four wheeling and snowboarding. Both of my sons play football and one plays lacrosse, a sport where players run the field whacking the ever-loving daylights out of each other with sticks.
Now, none of my clan is on a mission to get injured, but we sometimes pick the kind of “fun” that invites stitches and slings. We contribute to our ER visits because of our own choices. (This excludes my sister who is under “ball attack” no matter what.)
There are people, though, whose entire LIVES need cortisone shots. They experience one emotional, financial, personal, social or professional injury after another. Sometimes these folks insist that they’re under spiritual attack. Certainly, spiritual attacks are very real (Ephesians 6: 12, 1 Peter 5:8), but is that truly what’s happening when our lives constantly cry out for ACE Bandages?
Proverbs 14:1 says, “A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” (NLT) To me, that “with her own hands” indicates that people can cause their own troubles.
We make decisions everyday about how we’ll conduct the facets of our lives. If those choices aren’t based on Biblical principles and fueled by Godly wisdom, we just might choose the road to self-inflicted injury.
Granted, Satan deserves the rap for a lot of troubles in this world, but our own actions, thoughts, attitudes, hopes and motives can wreck plenty of havoc in our work, homes, relationships, finances and health. Does Satan influence, encourage and tempt destructive behavior? We can count on it; we can also count on this: “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7 NLT)
Scripture teaches, “For we are each responsible for our own conduct.” (Galatians 6:5 NLT)
The best conduct begins with submitting to Christ. Without Him, we can’t do…well, anything.
With Him, we can do everything. (John 5: 15, Philippians 4:13)
©Donna G. Morton July 2008
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