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May 9 – Your own worst enemy

“But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” – James 1:14 (NKJV) 

Scripture reading: Genesis 3:1-24

Blaming someone else is deeply rooted in the human heart. It has been that way ever since the fall when Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent for the disobedience that plunged all humanity into sin. The effort to blame the devil is still popular. We recognize that he does great damage in leading people astray and in attacking Christians, for he is described as a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

Many people blame the devil for their sin and many others blame God for their troubles. Natural disasters are described by the insurance industry as “acts of God” while a beautiful sunset is attributed to “Mother Nature.” But the Holy Spirit points out that when we fall into sin, we have no one to blame except ourselves because “each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed” (James 1:14).

It is our desires, springing from our sinful nature, that so often plunge us into sin. Instead of blaming others for our sin, we must recognize that we are often our own worst enemy. Instead of fleeing from sin, we often longingly gaze at sin allowing desire to conceive and give birth to even more sin.

The devil, the world and our sinful nature are three sworn enemies that never stop attacking us. We have little control over the world and the devil, but by God’s convicting and comforting Spirit, may we exercise prayerful self-control in the face of temptation.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask forgiveness for blaming others and pray for a heart of purity and holiness that radiates throughout your life and into the lives of others.

Pastor Ted Gray is a retired minister in the United Reformed Church of North America. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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