When you look at the big picture of life (or as my pastor calls it, “the whole shebang”) you see that there are three main players: God, us, and the devil (which is Satan and all his mini-me’s).

Now Satan (or Lucifer) had it good for a long time. God created him a big, strong, handsome guy and he was one of the top angels in heaven. But he got a little greedy, thought he could ascend to the throne and ended up getting kicked out of heaven with about a third of the angels who were on his side.

God decided to banish him to the earth until Judgment Day when he and all his little buddies will be permanently sent into a burning lake of fire.

In the meantime, he is up to nothing but no-good trying to steal, kill and destroy anything holy or godly in this world (John 10.10).

God really, really, really doesn’t like Satan but in his sometimes mysterious ways has decided to let him stick around and be a part of the “whole shebang.”

As Christians, we should have the same attitude towards the devil as God does, but there are some obvious examples where we don’t.

Take Arizona State University, for example. Just because we all know it gets “hotter than hell” here in Phoenix, they decided it would be appropriate to have a devil as the mascot and name their sports teams the “Sun Devils.”

So now when we go to their football games we see a little red cartoony guy with a pitch fork running around and making all the kids laugh. Harmless humor, right? H-mmm. I wonder if God is laughing up in heaven watching us make light of the devil.

My house gets a little crazy this Thursday night, Oct. 31, as about 200 kids will show up to try to “earn” their candy with all my goofy skills challenges. Invariably, one or two of them will be dressed in a little Sparky devil costume. Everyone will laugh and say, “Oh, aren’t you cute!”

H-mmm. This guy is prowling the earth looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5.8). Maybe we shouldn’t be treating him so lightly. Maybe it’s not too late for some of you parents to take that outfit back and trade it for a Superman costume instead.

• Brad Butler and his wife, Wendy, attend Mountain Park Community Church in Ahwatukee. Their son and their money go to Arizona State University.

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