Have you ever witnessed (or heard of) someone do something unbelievably atrocious, or so vile, you pause and wonder how he/she could be capable of such despicable act. And of course, the next thing you hear out of their mouths is, “the devil made me do it.”
From fathers who defile their young daughters; grown men raping toddlers to the serial killer; there is that one being who features in every evil act- the devil. The first image that comes to our imagination is the physical manifestation with the red horns, two-pronged pitchfork and the arrow shaped tail (raise your hands if you saw that one in Tom and Jerry)
If you are like me, you may have realised that the image is probably a metaphor for his decadence. And if you are a Christian, you’ve probably read that passage of the bible where Lucifer is described as a very handsome and angelic being with a beautiful voice, and was the leader of the angelic hosts and God’s favourite before he caused over a third of those angels to fall and got them all banished (some say to hell, while some say or still believe they still roam this earth, oh well…). Lucifer was drop dead gorgeous, in an angelic sort of way. Okay maybe I’m overdoing it but even his name makes you think of a pretty boy, doesn’t it? think about it……. ‘Lucifer Morningstar‘ the light bringer yada yada!!!
Back to the crux of the matter, blaming the devil can be traced right back to the beginning of ages. Let’s do a little history, shall we? When you think of all the evil in the world today, don’t you sometimes find yourself tracing the blame from your forefathers to Adam and Eve. Yup! Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden. Remember the story of the fall of Man (it’s more than just a story anyway, but let’s not get to that today), how the serpent tempted Eve to eat of the apple from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. When God quizzed Adam, his reply was:
‘…the woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree and i did eat’
So the blame shifted and it was the woman’s turn to be quizzed and of course she said, ‘the serpent beguiled me and i did eat‘
There, you have it!!! Do you see the pattern of blame? Adam blamed Eve, and she subsequently blamed the serpent. Trust me, we can make that tree longer: you do something bad–>you blame a friend–>friend blames parent–>parent blames evil great aunt–>evil great aunt blames the evil world–>it goes on and on till it comes down to that one story–>Adam and Eve–>And then you get the ‘not so poor’ serpent
This is not some theological debate or a reminder of the one story no one seems to ever forget. The whole point to this is that Eve, like most of us, forgot she had that one thing that other beings (even supernatural beings) covet- Free Will. Free will is nothing more than the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one’s own discretion. Free will is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action. It is closely linked to the concepts of responsibility, praise, guilt, sin, and other judgments which apply only to actions that are freely chosen.
The serpent did not make Eve do anything, it just made a “subtle” suggestion. It’s just like when you are about to *insert worst possible act you can do/or have ever done* And you go to your best friend for advise and she says, “gosh you are too uptight, just do it already! go be a slut” or she says with profound wisdom, “why do you want to? It will mess up the whole of your life“. Basically, you have two options. You could choose to go with her advice or, choose not to listen to her and do the exact opposite. In the end you absolutely cannot go back to her and say, “you made me do it” She did not. She did not hold a knife to your neck now, did she? Even if she did, you could have chosen to die… okay that’s so not the point
So… maybe, just maybe we need to accept the blame of our own actions and stop trying to distribute the blame like it is some emotion to be shared. The devil may have whispered into your ears, but hey, I’m pretty sure he did not tie a rope to your leg and drag you all the way. Let’s accept that we can be really depraved and stop believing the devil is that much of a genius.