Read Genesis 4
Focus on verse 7
Back in the 70’s (when I was a teenager) the phrase “the devil made me do it” was a popular and common excuse used by young people who were caught doing something immoral or illegal. It is perhaps the oldest dodge of personal responsibility in the book, as this is not unlike the response of Eve after she ate of the forbidden fruit. Cain appears to be a quick study in the technique as he uses a similar excuse – he was jealous of his brother Abel – the Lord even describes for him quite plainly how to avoid giving in to sin, but Cain chooses his own path, just as his parents did.
The wording of verse 7 is interesting when examined a little more closely.
“Sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but YOU must rule over it.” (v. 7)
Here is the essence of personal responsibility. We all must learn to take responsibility for the path of action that we choose. The sooner we realize that we ultimately cannot escape this responsibility the sooner we reach maturity and the more likely we will be inclined to make our choices with the kind of wisdom that begins with the fear of the Lord.