A Deal with the Devil

When I was seven years old, a song hit the radio that was unlike anything I ever heard before. The Charlie Daniel’s Band released a song entitled “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” It is about the Devil proposing a fiddle contest. If he wins, he will get Johnny’s soul; if he loses, then Johnny will get a fiddle made of gold. So they agree, and the contest is set.

Then only a handful of years later, the movie “Crossroads” was released, starring Ralph Macchio. A young guitar student has heard the legend of Robert Johnson. He is said to have gone to a mysterious crossroads in the South where he met Satan. Robert made a deal with him to become a famous guitar player in exchange for his soul.

As a young boy, I was led to believe the Devil was out in the world making all kinds of deals. One day he would show up and offer me something in exchange for my soul. Secretly I hoped it was something spectacular like fame, wealth, power, or women.

I have never met Satan personally, and I doubt you have either. But I have encountered some of his deals over my lifetime. The voice tells me it is okay to do evil just a little and still be okay. Cheating, lying, porn, and stealing are fine if you keep it small and under control. The Biblical image is that he asks me to sell my inheritance for a bowl of soup. All the while, he whispers to me that my life will be better if I make the deal.

I wish I could tell you I had not fallen for his tricks. But, unfortunately, time and time again, I buy the lies and do things that compromise my integrity and damage my relationship with my maker. Never once has it made my life better. On the contrary, it always leaves me with shame, regret, guilt, remorse, and brokenheartedness. The gold fiddle is always made of fool’s gold.

Here is what I know from experience. Never make a deal with the Devil; he never intends to keep up his end of the bargain.

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