I do not believe in the devil. At least, not in the mythological sense of a red-horned, black-hooved, creature with a tail and a pitchfork. There is no cavernous inferno where souls go to burn forever. The world can, though, be awfully seductive at times. From the marketing schemes and the political theatrics, I am easily sedated and distracted. My human brain is susceptible to error. I have a tendency to repeat patterns, because the comfortable even when experience has proved the pattern unhealthy. My human brain is susceptible to error. I have a tendency to confirm false truths because I’m too lazy to try and disprove it. There may be no “devil,” but there are forces beyond us and within us that would lead us down dangerous paths. The armor of God is no more literal than the devil. But it is helpful to imagine putting on a protective outfit that silences the noise of consumerism and competition, that lowers the negative voices in our head, so that God can speak words of love.
Holy God, forgive me when I give in to temptation. Forgive me when I do not put up a fight. Help me put on this armor, that I may return to the promises I made to myself and to you — to be a better person and to do good in the world. Amen.