It is a popular thought that people are intrinsically good. Our generation is learning to believe that all humans are inherently good people. We, most of the time see ourselves as good people since we compare ourselves with the worst of the world. Because of this mindset and attitude we are not able to see who we really are, nor to make the changes that we need to make.
One of the main foundations of the Reformed Faith is the belief that we are not good people by nature. Our nature was affected by the rebellion of our forefathers because of that we have the world in chaos. The problem is that we think the world is this way because of the action of other people, not us. We always blame someone else for the bad. If we just turn our eyes a little bit inward and see who we really are, that will make a big difference.
So the first step is to learn about ourselves. We need to accept that we are not good. The Word of God tells me that I am not. The apostle Paul has this to say about our nature: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23.” And another part of the same letter he wrote this: “As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. Rom. 3:10-11.” The reformers call it: total depravity. But it is not just the Scriptures that tell me I am not perfect, other people tell me that too. If you ask around you will hear that. There is also another witness against me, my own experience. It tells me that I am not so good at all.
The second step is to be thankful for the instruments that God gives us to help us to control ourselves. God is so good to us that He put a system in place to restrain our human nature. Here are some of the components of that system: parents, education, friends, police, etc. These are blessings that when used appropriately can be very effective in preventing the flourishing of our bad side. What we are watching today is the corrosion of this system which is taking the world into a downward spiral.
Finally we need to be changed in our core. When we see who we really are and understand the terrible consequences that results, not only to us but to people around us, we will look for a way of changing ourselves from the inside out. The only change that really works is the change that Jesus can bring into our lives. The Bible says that when we believe in Jesus and put our trust in Him, He will change our nature. This is what the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2Corinthians 5:17.” It is important for you to know that this change will begin when you trust in Jesus, but it will never end on this side of life. For most of us it will be a hard and tough journey. Jesus and Paul call it “to take the cross.” Yes, it will demand a sacrifice.
Now you can look in the mirror and join the rest of us in saying: “Yes, I am not good in myself, but by the grace of God I can change!”
Have a blessed week,