Although I try to be optimistic and look for the good in the world, it is getting increasingly harder to find those “bright spots” in life. With the crime rate going up across the United States and also across the world, you have to ask yourself, “What is happening to our society?”
It seems that the value of human life is zero for most of society. I see demonstrations reducing the precious virtues of human life to that of nothing more than something that can be easily discarded or destroyed. I see and read about murders and violence committed against others. In the news segments I watch, I see people going out of their way to hurt or murder others with little regard for them or society as a whole.
Nothing in our world seems to have value other than money or power. We have sold our souls for a few dollars and cheap pleasures that ultimately leave us wanting more. We crave the rush that money and power gives us and we will do literally anything for it. Many will turn to violence to achieve what they want and will do even more for that next “hit” of dopamine. Does it have to be this way?
It doesn’t have to be this way. We should not be slaves to our own desires. We are more than just another species of animal. We are above being an animal acting on its appetites. It has often been said that “manners maketh man”. I would go a step further. Our faith gives us more than just a warm feeling on the inside.
Our faith gives a relationship not only with God the Father but also each other. Jesus calls us not only to love and obey God but to also love one another. Instead we do the exact opposite of what we should be doing. Instead of taking responsibility, those individuals who choose violence and follow their desires blame society or others. Some have gone as far as to say that Satan made them do those things and that society should blame him for the violence committed.
Satan can tempt you, but he can’t make you do anything unless you give into him. He is not the one to blame for your weakness to act upon his lies and deceptions. Each of us has something that is hidden from others. Those things are the sins and vices we keep to ourselves. We feel that it is absolutely fine to do these things, because they don’t hurt others. Drugs, alcohol, pornography and other “harmless” vices lead to other things.
Satan has convinced people that it’s fine to have something we enjoy. It all starts with it being a victimless vice. It won’t hurt others and brings pleasure. Because Satan has slipped these evil words into your head and your heart, you begin to slip away from what you should be doing to what you enjoy. You keep uttering the same words over and over, “It’s not hurting anyone and it brings me pleasure.”
But, in time, you crave more and more. You need to go further and further into depravity and continue to be disobedient not only to God but also to others. You are addicted to your vice and it doesn’t take a lot of time before you are hurting others to get that rush.
Did Satan make you do this? No. You can’t blame him. He just spoke to you and you took the first steps. Satan even tempted Jesus. While he was in the desert fasting for forty days and forty nights, Satan came to him and tried to get Jesus to satisfy his hunger by turning stones into loaves of bread. Jesus was hungry and he certainly had the power to do that, but he, instead, reminded Satan that his spiritual food comes from God.
In chapter four of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells Satan, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Jesus uses his faith and God’s holy word to rebuff Satan. Satan tempts Jesus two more times and fails each time. Jesus didn’t give in and neither should you. Satan is working overtime to lie and deceive everyone. All he desires is for you to give into your victimless vice and become disobedient to God.
In his first epistle, Peter writes, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.”
Don’t fall prey to Satan by being weak. Don’t listen to his lies and give into his deceptions. Remember the only things he can offer you will ultimately lead to destruction, death and damnation. Satan, like any predator, goes after you when you are at your weakest. During those times, you need to stand firm with other believers. There is power in numbers.
If you feel Satan really working hard to get you to leave the path of righteousness, reach out to others and ask for prayers and words of encouragement and faith to bolster your faith and strength. God has provided you with everything you need. He has given you the Gospel Armor and it will not fail you. With that armor, you can stand firm in His grace and defeat Satan.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.