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Are All Humans Wicked? (Y1.T2.D3)

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Yes, we are.

In fact, one Stanford scientist—Robert Sapolsky (author of Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)—was interviewed by Sean Illing at Vox magazine, "about the paradoxes of human nature, why we’re capable of both good and evil." The scientist found humans to be "really violent."

We don't hate violence as such—[we] hate the wrong kind of violence, and when it's the right kind of violence, we absolutely do cartwheels to reinforce it and reward it and hand out medals and mate with such people because of it. And that’s part of the reason why the worst kinds of violence are so viscerally awful to experience, to bear witness to. But the right kinds of violence are just as visceral, only in the opposite direction.

And this scientist isn’t the only one to present our innate desire to have things our way.

Jesus told his disciples, "Out of the hearts of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, sexual sins, murders, thefts, covetings, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness" (Mark 7:21–22).

Since every human on the planet possesses the ability to love and kill, it's important to yield our nature to the Holy Spirit.

We should be like the Canaanite woman who begged Jesus to heal her demon-possessed daughter, knowing we deserve to be called scrounging mutts. (Matthew 15:23–28) When we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, he will bring every wicked thought and act of foolishness into order.

Spirit of God, Heal Me

Matthew 15:15–20, Mark 7:17–23

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, that you may not do the things that you desire. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts.

25 If we live by the Spirit, let’s also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let’s not become conceited, provoking one another, and envying one another. (Galatians 5:16–26)

Matthew 15:21–22a, Mark 7:24–25a

22b came out from those borders and cried, saying, “Have mercy on me, Lord, you son of David! My daughter is severely possessed by a demon!” (Matthew 15:22b)

25b whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, having heard of him, came and fell down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by race. She begged him that he would cast the demon out of her daughter.

(Mark 7:7:25b–25)

23 But he answered her not a word.

His disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away; for she cries after us.”

24 But he answered, “I wasn’t sent to anyone but the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

25 But she came and worshiped him, saying, “Lord, help me.” (Matthew 15:23–25)

Matthew 15:26–28, Mark 7:27–29

30 She went away to her house, and found the child having been laid on the bed, with the demon gone out. (Mark 7:30)

29 Jesus departed from there and came near to the sea of Galilee; and he went up into the mountain and sat there. 30 Great multitudes came to him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others, and they put them down at his feet. He healed them (Matthew 15:29–30)

31 Again he departed from the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and came to the sea of Galilee, through the middle of the region of Decapolis. 32 They brought to him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech. They begged him to lay his hand on him. 33 He took him aside from the multitude, privately, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat, and touched his tongue. 34 Looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha!” that is, “Be opened!” 35 Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was released, and he spoke clearly. 36 He commanded them that they should tell no one, but the more he commanded them, so much the more widely they proclaimed it. 37 They were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes even the deaf hear, and the mute speak!” (Mark 7:31–37)

31 so that the multitude wondered when they saw the mute speaking, the injured healed, the lame walking, and the blind seeing—and they glorified the God of Israel. (Matthew 15:31)

Meditation Moment

Dear God,

I don't want to deceive myself and say that I have no sin. I confess my wicked thoughts and foolish actions to You because you are faithful and want to forgive my sins, and cleanse me from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8–9). You promised to not tempt me with more than I am able to withstand—show me the way to escape, and help me take it (1 Corinthians 10:13). And since it is impossible to please You with faith, I believe You exist and seek Your salvation (Hebrews 11:6).


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