In the past couple of weeks there have been several shootings in the area where I live. Many people would argue that guns are the problem: “we need stricter gun laws! We need to get guns off the streets and out of the hands of those who would use them to harm others! We need people in office who will protect the people at home!”
The same people arguing against guns might also argue in favor of the goodness in people: “people are basically good. We are all born good. It’s the environment that taints us and causes us to do bad things.”
But is it possible for good people to do bad things? I don’t know about you, but I do not have to be intentional about being unkind or lazy or selfish or mean-spirited or angry. I do not have to remind myself to put myself first. Rather, it’s quite the opposite. I DO have to seek Christ to help me live for Him and put others first. I do have to be intentional about cultivating patience, biting my tongue, swallowing my pride, and seeking others’ good before my own. Christ-likeness has become my second nature now because my first nature was all about me, myself and I.
Those in our world who argue for man’s innate goodness do so because they want to have no need for God. This in and of itself is further evidence of man’s rebellion against God. But we need look no further than the issue of gun control to see that man on his own is dangerous at his best, evil at his worst. We cannot pick and choose who is good and who is not for if we look deeply into our hearts we will find the seeds for the worst crimes against humanity: hate, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, deceit, jealousy, addiction, envy, adultery, rage and so much more. The crimes that make the headlines are mere symptoms of a greater disease: hearts sickened by sin and in need of healing repentance before a Holy God.
The most recent mass shooting occurred because the shooter had lost a video game. What does that tell us about the state of that man’s heart? What does drug addiction tell us about the human heart? What about abortion? Sex-trafficking? I know that I was not born “good,” but I was born “for good,” and that good is to be a surrendered vessel in my Maker’s hands. We have all been created for a purpose; we have all been designed for relationship with the Almighty God.
What is your second nature?