In the 1970s Flip Wilson introduced the American TV audience to Geraldine and her dress buying penchant. On the Ed Sullivan show he did a 3 minute comedy sketch about buying another dress because “The Devil made me do it.” He became renowned not only for that routine but for the comedy that he presented for the next several years.
The phrase “The Devil made me do it” became a punch line for years following Wilson’s sketch. It showed up in music. It was the title to multiple movies. It was the banter of teens with their parents. It became the fodder for many, many preachers.
Frankly, it was just plain funny.
The only downside was, people actually did use it as an excuse including Christians. In fact, we still do. Falling prey to sin is dismissed as “the devil made me do it.” We may not use that exact phrase, but we act and talk as if we have no responsibility. We pass the blame to the devil, to a spouse, or to a circumstance. We will do anything to avoid taking responsibility for ourselves.
We Christians could grow a great deal more in our godliness if we could (would) simply own up to our own decisions. We are given every indication in Scripture that we, not someone else, are responsible for our choices. And we, not any one else, will ultimately be held accountable for our decisions.
So, while we laugh at Geraldine buying another dress; let’s not deny our own culpability.