There is a reality I’m beginning to fully see that I’ve never wanted to believe was true for me. This reality is the truth about the nature of man. Growing up in the home environment I had demonstrated a “nature of man” in my father which made man look much more like a beast. Then, there was the nature of my mom who was thoughtful and quiet, listened and spoke when asked (most of the time) and was extremely disciplined and structured. I grew into believing the nature of man had an evil side (dad) and a Christ-like side (mom). I wanted to mostly be like mom. She did have a few characteristics I didn’t want to model which were things like not confronting dad’s temper and beatings, not asking if one was ok after a beating, etc.
As I’ve grown in my believing I’m a “new creation” this year, I’ve realized the nature of man is simply selfish. Dad’s nature was so overt, one didn’t need to be with him very long to see his selfishness. Mom on the other hand had lots of kindness in her person, but mom’s nature still had its selfishness. (It’s hard to write this about her, yet I now see the truth in this.) Mom’s nature was much more covert rather than dad’s overt nature.
I lived a long time measuring my own sinfulness against dad’s behavior. If I weren’t like him I’d not be sinful even though my selfishness was very present. I’ve learned that my sin is measured against God’s definition of sin from His Word, never from man’s comparison of sins. I simply didn’t want to sin like dad–that was my goal. So, now I’ve needed to accept I sin like Earnie. Both are sinful. Keeping my eyes on Jesus has shown me what selfishness does look like in me–having my way. Letting Jesus have His Way with me is now my goal in all of my life. I have a lot of nature that opposes this, but now I see this for what it is: sinful selfishness. This is an assignment I’ll be working on the rest of my days on earth.