“But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.'” Genesis 3:4-5
The sinful nature of man is complicated. I seem to get to know it better as I grow. I see how utterly sinful I am. Even my desire to do good sprouts from a sinful heart.
Let me explain. You see I’m guilty of the same sins everyone else is guilty of. I’ve wished ill and spoken ill of people I claim to love, raised my voice in anger more times than I can remember, and filled my mind with lustful fantasies. But I’m trying so hard! If I recognize that I’m sinful person . . . well, that’s a step towards becoming better, isn’t it?
Well, a few days ago it hit me that being a better person is really not that important. No, you didn’t misread that, that’s exactly what I’m saying. In fact, the desire to be a better person could actually be sinful itself. After all, why did Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden? They wanted to know right from wrong. They wanted to be like God.
It came as quite a shock to me when I realized that my desire to be good was actually pride. I wanted to be like God. Without sin. So people would see how good I was and give glory to me instead of God. That is the exact opposite of what Christians are meant to do. We are supposed to give glory to God by showing what it looks like to depend on him, not by being good people. And yet so many seem to have gotten it backwards.
Christ lived a perfect life and died to make a way for us to be with the Father. If we try to remove sin from our lives on our own, we are essentially saying that we don’t need his sacrifice, and that is the worst sin of all. Let us first submit ourselves to Christ and put complete trust in him. Then he will begin to make us better people for his glory not ours.