The Mental Bent of Humankind’s Mind
Initially, Adam and Eve’s mental disposition or inclination was not toward evil or bad, sin. Hence, while imperfect humans are inclined, lean toward wrongdoing, it was just the opposite for our first human parents; their natural inclination was toward doing good. This is just the opposite of their descendants, for we have inherited the disease of sin, missing the mark, or standard of perfection. (Gen 6:5, AT) “When the Lord saw that the wickedness of man on the earth was great and that the whole bent of his thinking was never anything but evil . . . .” (Gen 8:21, AT) “. . . the bent of man’s mind may be evil from his very youth. . . .” (Jer. 17:9) 9The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it?
Indeed, we have inherited fallen imperfections of the flesh, meaning we are mentally bent toward sin. Christians have a fight on their hands to exercise self-control. However, this is no reason to give up. We may be born into imperfection, even genetically predisposed toward anger, with our upbringing enhancing that predisposition; however, this does not give us an excuse to ignore our lack of self-control. It simply means more work on our part, as well as the need for applying God’s Word further in our lives (i.e., putting on the new person, and acquiring the mind of Christ). While our genes may affect what we are born with, and our childhood may contribute our leaning even further, our free will choice, determination, and Holy Spirit dominate where we end up. Like Paul, we need ‘to discipline our body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others we should be disqualified.’ (1 Cor. 9:27) If we can get control over the little things, we are far less likely to stumble in the serious sins.
In addition, aside from our own fallen flesh, we have the imperfection of wicked humankind working against us. They attempt to take advantage of us by tempting us where we are weak for their own personal gain. (1 John 2:15-16) Thus, they are the ones, who benefit when we fall short, and give into our weaknesses: overindulging in food and drink, engaging in unclean behavior, reading lustful magazines, viewing immoral images, becoming extremists in sports, or unnecessarily weighing ourselves down with maxed credit cards or loans because of buying things we could not afford, or do not need.
Then, we have those unseen forces, which have control over our senses, because they use fallen humankind to cater to our baser desires. Yes, we are talking about Satan, the Devil, who the god of this world, the father of the lie, as well as the other fallen angels. (2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 6:12; John 8:44; Rev 12:9-12) Yes, “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”—1 Pet. 5:8.
For answers on how to cope with these conditions, please see the article below.
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