“The devil made me do it” was made famous by a comedian from the '70s, Flip Wilson. This statement became a national expression that some may poke fun at. However it can be a very real excuse for many Christians.
Even if believers don’t come right out and say, “The devil made me do it” they still give more credit to the devil’s ability to twist and manipulate their lives. They may cite weaknesses or issues from their past that make overcoming temptation difficult.
I was having a conversation at church yesterday concerning this very thing. I was talking to another Christian about my past and she asked if I would ever be tempted to drink if I entered a bar. I told her that I really didn’t believe so. I don’t have a pull to go back to that lifestyle at all. Another believer piped up and said that she was basically raised in a bar and that she couldn’t enter one because of the temptation.
Now I do believe that we all have particular issues that can be vices. We know where our weaknesses lie and so we shouldn’t give way to them. However at the same time I do believe that if we live by I Corinthians 10:13 then we don’t ever have to worry about being able to overcome a temptation.
If you break this verse down here is what you discover. First it says in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that no temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man. In other words you are not ever going to face a unique situation. Any and every temptation that you may ever encounter is common to man. There is nothing special about your particular temptation. Sometimes believers convince themselves that their temptations are somehow different but all that really does is provide an excuse.
Then it says in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able. When you are facing a temptation you are not alone. God is right there and He will not allow you to be tempted by something in which you cannot escape. Once again, believers will try and make excuses that their temptation is just too much to bear.
It goes on to say that with the temptation He will provide a way of escaping, which reiterates what I just said. He will make a way of escape. It is not like we are these helpless victims who have no say in how it turns out. There is a way out!
The verse ends with so that you will be able to endure it. That is the final icing on the cake. You just can’t get away with “the devil made me do it.” Don’t give Satan such undue credit. God is more than able and with that He is more than able to help you overcome your area of temptation.