Growing up in churches, ALL I ever seem to remember hearing about is "hell this, and Satan that." I was asked the other day when I "decided to follow Jesus." I replied, "every day!" Not satisfied with the answer the pastor clarified, asking, "when I was baptized." I said, "when I was 14." I was then asked what made me make that decision to "ask Jesus into my heart." I replied, "guilt, fear, keeping my butt out of hell!" Now I didn't say these things in my inquisition, but this is part of a better understanding of what I did say. To me, there is a big difference between "getting saved" and, "deciding to follow Christ". If you can't feel my tone, I'll give you a break and let you know that, like most PoMo people, I really don't like the way these statements have been used in the modern era. I think that what they have come to mean is something far less that what Christ offers, and what the Cross means!
Anyway, somewhere along the way I decided that we (Christians) had been giving Satan too much power, far more than I think God would give him. Now, there is far more to the understanding of Satan than they teach you in Sunday School. The history (not the story of Lucifer-Satan-Devil that tradition has passed down to us, but the historicity of Satan and his historical development) is very interesting. I'm not saying that such a being doesn't exist, I'm just saying if you study the Bible closely, and study the history of comparative religions you will find that the way society and Christianity in particular uses and understands Satan, is not always how he was understood by our ancestors. So that eventually came to play a part in my already developing understanding of Satan, and in relation, sin.
The bigger part that informed my choice of personal approach to Satan in my own life was the religious language that I would hear being used by many Christians. It seemed that every time someone made a mistake or "sinned" (I say it that way as to leave what the definition of sin is open to interpretation and free from my judgementalness), they would lay the blame on Satan. "Satan made me do it," or "I was tempted by the devil." No one seemed to want to take responsibility for their own actions, iniquities and failures. Those statements say to me that, "I am subjugate to a more powerful spiritual force, and what can I do about that? So, chalk up my mistake to failing to defeat this greater force and I'll take no responsibility in my actions."
Eventually I started to see myself falling into this same trap. But the Christ I was reading about gave us power over our own actions. He also called us to take responsibility for our actions or in actions, and to reconcile ourselves to those we hurt before "coming to the alter". (perhaps more on that in another post). So I decided to stop giving the devil so much credit for my mistakes, because then I was only giving him and my sinfulness more power than it deserves.
So, I chose not to acknowledge Satan in my personal life. Each mistake that I made, each person that I hurt was a result of my own actions/in actions and my own choices! I no longer accepted that I was some sort of victim of a greater ineluctable being. So thus, the answer I gave, "In my own personal life, I chose not to acknowledge/accredit Satan for my own wrongdoings."
Now I did addendum this thought by saying that I don't discourage others from acknowledging Satan. If it helps them come to terms/understand evil in this world, and entices them towards action against it, then I encourage it! If it keeps them from being crippled by self-inflicted guilt in their lives, then I embrace them in that understanding. But I do encourage people to take responsibility for their iniquity, and not to give Satan more credit and power in their lives than he deserves!