I am sure you know that old expression, “better the devil you know than the devil you don't.” It means that it is often better to deal with someone or something you are familiar with and know, even if they are not ideal, rather than take a risk with an unknown person or thing.
This expression has been on my mind a lot lately. Why? I honestly have no idea, other than it is something that God has put on my heart to dissect and examine.
From the onset, it rubs me the wrong way. And, that must be because it has the word “devil” in it. I can understand the meaning behind it and can see why that way of thinking is appealing to people. It is something I have heard my own husband say on several occasions. I begrudgingly admit that there is some merit to it. But, to me, it shows an inherent weakness; it is a saying that gives someone an easy way out. It is a cop-out. This sounds harsh, doesn’t it? I don’t mean it to. I just think that there are better options. Or, in the very least, better ways to think and expressions to use.
I read an amazing blog called Everyday Abiding, by Jessica Bowen. Earlier this month she wrote on the topic of being uncomfortable. (You can read her post here.) In it, Jessica reminds us that, as Christians, to grow spiritually, we need to get uncomfortable. I couldn’t agree more. This is probably why “the devil you know” has been on my mind.
I mean think about it, doesn’t “the devil you know” basically mean you are in a comfortable place and don’t want to change things? YES! (You know it does!) And, that is the devil for you. He wants to stunt you, keep you exactly where you are and stifle your forward momentum and keep you from gaining any prosperity. The last thing the devil wants you to do is to stretch your spiritual muscles and grow closer to the Lord.
To me, this expression is EXACTLY what it says: the DEVIL YOU know. The devil is the devil is the devil. There is no purpose to the last part of this saying. I don’t think there is a devil you don’t know. You know the devil and he knows you. Or, at least he thinks he knows you. (As a Christian, I hope you prove him wrong.) But, he certainly knows our sinful, human nature. He knows that new things scare us. He knows that staying exactly where we are in life requires no effort on our part. (And, we have so much going on in our lives, the things that require the least amount of effort are usually our go-to options, whether we mean them to be or not.) He knows that we are creatures who love our creature comforts and our comfort zones and our habits. And, he knows how to get into our heads and screw with us daily.
And, I think for all these reasons and more--these are why I dislike this saying. I think we need to adjust our way of thinking. Rather than thinking of the “devil you know” we should be thinking of the God we know.
Our God is a loving and kind God. Our God is merciful and just. Our God created you in your mother’s womb and made you to be uniquely you. Our God wants you to have a good life and live in abundance. Our God wants you to live in accordance with His Word and to reap all the blessings and benefits that He has in store for you. So, what are you waiting for?
Are you in a situation where you feel like your best option is to stay with the devil you know? Stop thinking of all the reasons why you can’t do something, and start thinking about all the reasons why you CAN do something. The only thing you really need to remember is that when you have God on your side, you can do anything!
Look back over your life. You have faced many challenges and hardships, haven’t you? Yes, you have. (We all have.) And, you came through them. If not, you would not be reading this post.
So, rather than thinking about “the devil you know” change your thinking and start thinking in terms of the “God you know.” This much better way of thinking will, in turn, hopefully, push you in a good direction—one out of your comfort zone.
With God by your side, you can do amazing and great things in your life. Take a “leap of faith” and trust God to see you safely on the other side. He won’t let you down, I promise!
I am so glad you are here! I am Erica Strickland, a girl who loves God. My goal here is to simply share His love and light.