If anyone needs proof that "the criminal mind" could be an overstatement or perhaps even an oxymoron, just check the headlines. Mayhem, stealing, and trafficking in drugs aren't the behaviors of our best and brightest. Oh, that's not to say that some very bright people who otherwise could be rocket scientists don't get involved in such things. It's just that something goes haywire in them.

Take the case of Charmaine Williams Stein. Hers is the tale of a 30-year-old woman who was recently arrested and charged with robbing a bank on June 10, 2006, and making off with $22,000. The CSI scientists didn't have to get involved in this one. No DNA research. No high-speed chase. No SWAT team.

Ms. Stein left her address at the bank she robbed in Riverhead, New York. The note she passed through the teller's window had her street name and number on the reverse side. She had written her demand for money on the back of a bulk-mail ad. All the police had to do was watch her place until she came home several days after the robbery. She was taken into custody and arraigned.

Are criminals really that stupid? Or do some people get so desperate that their intelligence fails them? Do they get into situations of such hopelessness that they lose the ability to reason? Do they form tunnel vision about some scheme that makes them lose touch not only with moral sense but common sense?

Before coming off as too harsh or judgmental toward one bank robber, let me hasten to plug in a few other news stories from the same week: "Doctor found guilty of wife's murder," "Woman charged with selling infant," and "Mayor arrested in prostitution sting." These people aren't dumb or insane. They should be held accountable and punished. And the rest of us should learn from their stories.

No one is immune from moral calamity.
No one is immune from moral calamity. From pilfering office funds to losing one's temper to self-medicating a broken heart, we human beings are actually quite bright and creative at "fixing" ourselves. Then there always seems to be a long list of invitations to trouble that caters to one or more of the chinks in our moral armor. Those "chinks" range from pride to lust to greed. They are very real.

Scripture speaks of Satan as our adversary. He exploits the weak spots masterfully. He blinds us to the harm a lie or affair will surely cause. He deceives us into thinking we can get away with what has tripped up everybody before us.

If you are feeling one of those tugs from the devil today, don't fall for it. You have someone on your side. "Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time" (James 4:8 The Message).