News & Events
The Devil Made Me Do It
- September 4, 2015
- Posted by: LSEM
- Category: Devotions
Do you remember Flip Wilson? For those of you from the “Google Generation,” he was a comedian whose career peaked in the 1960’s & 70’s. Now I know that’s going back a while but if you do remember him you’ll probably also remember his famous tagline from his stand-up routine: “The devil made me do it!” This routine would feature a conversation where “Geraldine Jones,” a character voiced by Wilson would describe how it was that she was duped into buying a new dress. It was out of her hands. There was nothing she could do about it. Plain and simple, the devil made her do it.
The humor of the comedy routine is based on the ridiculous nature of the claim. Obviously she had far more control over her actions, she just simply chose to pin the blame on the devil. After all, he’s a devious character with a reputation for bad behavior. Seems logical to think that he would be responsible for the mischief, leading the poor, innocent victim helplessly down the path of destruction. If only we could just pass along responsibility for such things to a third party because we truly had no control!
This idea may be the basis for a humorous skit, but in real life a lack of control can be extremely frustrating. Imagine a situation where you are trying to accomplish something. Try as you might, you simply can’t get it done. And what’s worse – not only do you not do what you should, you find yourself doing a whole lot of things you should not! The tricks of the devil? Not hardly…
ADHD is a condition that puts a great many people into a very similar position. The symptoms of ADHD: an inability to focus, being easily distracted, hyperactivity, impulsive behaviors and poor organizational skills, can wreak havoc on a student trying to be successful in a school environment. This can and will lead teachers, parents and classmates to higher levels of stress and frustration while dealing with the consequences of that student’s behavior. And those consequences can be significant in both academic as well as behavioral issues. Worst of all, this truly is something that is completely beyond the control of the student. But how do you tell your teacher that the devil made me do it?
Any parent or educator who has worked with a student who has been diagnosed with ADHD can appreciate the struggle of helping them succeed in the classroom. It requires patience, understanding, a different approach to a great many things and above all, lots of forgiveness in quick and ready to serve doses. This can be extremely difficult when you are put in this position day after day, but if you think about it – these conditions aren’t only found in people with ADHD.
In Romans 7:15-20, Paul wrote about his own very personal struggles when it came to following God’s commands. “I do not understand what I do,” he explained. “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”
As members of the human race, we have all been born with a condition known as sin. The symptoms of this condition include greed, conceit, gossip, hate, lying, cheating, and immorality – just to name a few. Because we committed these sins, we are responsible for them. However, because sin is built in to our human nature, we can do nothing to stop it. But like our students with ADHD, we too can turn to someone who loves us enough to patiently understand our condition, offer us forgiveness and provide us a permanent solution to our problem.
Understanding us as His creation, God knew we would be unable to save ourselves. That is why Jesus Christ came down from heaven. He took our place, paying the penalty for our wrongdoing. His great love for us is demonstrated in His death and resurrection. He took our place to provide us with the one and only way to escape our terminally sinful condition. In Him we have life. Through Him we have an eternal future.
And best of all, there’s NOTHING the devil can do about it!
Devotion by Richard Schumacher
LSEM Director of Programs and Services