As a child, Satan was real to me. The hell-fire and brimstone sermons I was subjected to in church enflamed my child’s imagination of an evil demon with horns and a pitch fork. I was certain the devil was lurking under my bed, around every corner, just waiting to steal my soul. As an adult, I do not believe in a flesh and blood evil creature who desires to steal my soul or who controls MY actions. BUT, being drawn to the “dark” side is very real, because the temptation to follow self-centered ego, rather than soul, is a challenge each of us experiences countless times a day.
Ego justifies getting what it wants when it wants it. Ego is impatient, prideful, judgmental, selfish, and controlling. Ego blames others rather than assume personal responsibility. Ego fears losing control of others but does not desire to practice self-control. Ego lies, is envious and lazy. Ego projects its shortcomings onto others. Living from ego we allow the worst of ourselves to create our relationships and our lives, in essence, selling our soul to the devil that is self-centeredness, closemindedness and spiritual unconsciousness.
The GREAT news is, we are completely in control of the choices we make because one of the greatest gifts we receive from the Divine is that of free will. So, with the power and responsibility of choice resting squarely on our shoulders, we are the ones who opt to behave from ego thereby, figuratively, selling our soul to the devil. Or, we can choose to overrule ego and act from our higher, wiser, kind and loving soul.
It takes mindful, purposeful and continuous effort to keep ourselves from allowing our thoughts to justify behavior that goes against God, which is Love. Thankfully, the Divine truly wants us to live from soul. That is why God’s gift of free will supplies us with all the power we need to master a mind with a mind of its own. To question our thoughts by filtering them through our soul. Is what we are thinking real, true, or important? Do our thoughts justify actions that can hurt us or someone else? Are our thoughts attempting to limit the cooperative, inclusive, and virtuous motivations of our heart? Stopping ourselves to care about what we are thinking and the motivations (self-centered or selfless) behind our thoughts, is the moment by moment choice we make to either sell our soul to the Devil, or keep our soul aligned with God.