We all are aware that something is not quite right about life. A quick look at the global picture reveals manevolence of every kind all the way from a thoughtless word to the destruction of human life. Apparently it has always been that way. The book of Genesis tells us that the first naturally born male killed his brother; that’s how the human race began. I’m not trying to paint a gloomy picture but on one occasion Jesus recited a litany of those things that defile. The crowd was concerned that they not eat something that was ceremonially unclean so Jesus reminded them that people are defiled not by what goes in but by what comes out. By way of example he listed “sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, evil, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, and folly,” and added, “all of these things come from within and defile” (Mark 7:21-23).
The problem is human nature. Scripture tells us that we are made in the image of God but with Adam’s decision to disobey, human nature was twisted in the wrong direction. History is a lengthy narrative that recounts the struggles of mankind due to this fatal event. The common characteristic at every point is mankind’s propensity to act contrary to the divine will. Granted there are constant illustrations of the image of God at work in human life but the underlying reason for sorrow and suffering is the dark side of human nature.
Once this Biblical perspective is understood and applied we begin to see why nations war, why people abuse power at every level, why we so quickly weigh every choice in terms of personal benefit, etc. Of course the dark side is not the only side. Christianity teaches that God entered his own creation in the person of his Son, became the necessary sacrifice for the waywardness of all, and invites us to receive, no strings attached, a new nature and an incredibly bright future that never ends.
So, what would I change about life, if I could? It would be what we are by nature. Unfortunately that cannot happen but interestingly enough the despair of reality makes the transforming presence of Christ all the more exciting. Talk about a redemptive story! And it turns out magnificently for all who are willing to accept the gift of Christ’s redeeming love.