Column: When the devil sings your song


Have you ever met a Christian, especially one in leadership, and something feels off?

John White describes evil emerging in us like this:  Imagine you open a piano and sing a note into it. If your pitch is good enough a string with the corresponding note will begin to vibrate. The devil works the same with us, he “hums a note” by telling a lie that resonates with our tendencies to do wrong. Or as Dr. Timothy Keller states it, “He (the devil) stimulates the talk that goes on in your heart.”

Be careful when the devil sings your song.

What in the world are these guys talking about?

See, we must know what our “notes” are, the predispositions in us that could really mess up our lives. For example, alcohol for one may be a non-issue but for another is a fast track to disastrous consequences.

For someone else, working with a co-worker that is attractive is a non-issue but for another it would destroy their family. The deepest danger is in failing to recognize our own weaknesses. This I believe is where the enemy is most deadly.

Then when someone points out in us a potential weakness we lash out, vehemently defending our little pet god and reassuring ourselves that we have no problem, no issue, all while our intense defensiveness and clear obsession condemn us. I can hear Gollum from the book “The Lord of the Rings” repeating “my precious.”

Be careful when the devil sings your song.

Personally, I find that my struggles are sneaky. They are so insidious I don’t even notice them creeping in until friends point them out. It’s when I take something sinful and in my heart try to rebrand it as a Godly virtue…

It’s when I try to call what is really greed good stewardship.

It’s when I try to rebrand gossip as a prayer request.

It’s when I am overly harsh with my staff and I call it “strong” leadership.

It’s when I try to make jealousy and covetousness OK because I am pursuing the American dream.

This is where I think the church has lost ground. Where they have let go of Godly virtues because they (me included at times) try to dress up wrong behavior in pseudo spirituality. God forgive us! Give us humility and a new heart!

Check out the blog for some action steps: Search for “evil in the church.”