Monday, October 30, 2006


I firmly believe in the fallen nature of mankind (which includes you women). Not that everyone is evil, but rather just sinful. What I mean is that while we are not all always willfully wicked, we are often wicked by our very nature. Perhaps this has not been your experience, but for me it is a natural thing.

I used to think that I was a “good guy,” and perhaps I am, but there were still things that I did that hurt other people. We are all guilty of these things. Maybe it is judging someone, or not helping someone when they are down. Maybe it is just being rude to someone. You might say “well there was this one time that I was really irritated and tired and this old woman was taking an hour to pump gas and I yelled at her. So what? I was having a bad day.” The point is not that you do not have a justification or rationalization for your actions, the point is that sometimes our actions hurt other people. This is what I mean by being fallen: unable to act holy and righteous all of the time.

Maybe you can act righteous some of the time, maybe even most of the time, but no one can be without blame all of the time. That would mean not only never saying a harmful thing, or doing a deceitful act, it would also mean not thinking an impure thought. Who can say that? Who can say that they never saw someone and thought, “who does she think she is acting like that?” Or saw some teenagers and thought, “these kids are a bunch of hooligans.” I challenge anyone who thinks that they are without blame to pay careful attention to their thoughts, and measure them to the standard of, “love your neighbor as yourself.”

As for me, well among the sinners, I am the chief. I know others have claimed to be the chief, but I cannot vouch for them. I only know what I am guilty of and the list is long. Here is a short list: lying, malice, hatred, being judgmental, cheating, conspiring, slander, greed, slothfulness, lust, and bigotry just to name a few. Of course I am guilty of the BIG one—greed.

So I don’t mean to say this to bring you down to my level, or to make myself feel better about my faults. No instead I say this to mean that we are none of us better than anyone else. A drug addict and a judge are both guilty of being human. All of us are. But this world view has its advantages.

If you see people in this way, you need not be so disheartened when they fail, and conversely you can celebrate when they succeed. If I was to summarize this in one sentence, it would be: Be quick to forget another’s transgressions, and slow to forget their achievements.

No comments: