Is Human Nature Inherently Good?

Mark 10:18

And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.

Ecclesiastes 8:11

Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.

Matthew 15:19

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.

Luke 6:45

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Matthew 12:34

You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

God is the standard of goodness. Even Jesus acknowledges this when he was called a good teacher. He pointedly stated only God is good. Yet there are many in today’s culture who believe humans are naturally, inherently good. They claim evil is the exception. But is this true?

What does history reveal? Nation’s dictatorships killing innocent people by the millions. Nations hating other nations for no other reason but jealousy or being different. Adults being predators of children. Thieves who would rather steal from others than work for a living. People lying to cover up their shortcomings. Gangs selling destructive drugs to others. Organized criminals looting stores. We could spend the day listing all the ways evil resides and is expressed in and through people.  

What does the Bible reveal about the natural inclination of people?

The emotional heart is the central organ of evil. The spirit that influences the heart needs to be changed for goodness to shine. Only after Satan is removed from the scene as pictured in the Book of Revelations, and humans receive the Spirit of God as outlined in Gospel of John, will goodness become the central core of a person’s life. Until then, the battle to control one’s behavior is a never-ending proposition.   

Thankfully, until that time totally arrives, God has provided us with HIS truth of values and goals as outlined in the Bible which help us to continually reposition ourselves unto the path of proper behavior; plus HE continues to shower us with HIS amazing grace that embraces us with HIS favor until that time arrives.

HIS biggest favor is sharing HIS life with you by living HIS life in you and through you. When we accept the Triune God’s authority in our life, HE comes to live in us. The Bible identifies HIM as the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit enriches us with HIS presence and shares HIS fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. All are the basic values which leads a person to experience the richness of life as God created us to enjoy.

The longer we live, the more we see man’s natural inclination is to lean toward evil. Only when the heart has been changed towards accepting God’s authority (Truth) and HIS Spirit merges with ours, is there a semblance of good. Yes, you can be ignorant of God’s ways and still live them out. (Mankind implementing the Ten Commandments in their lives is a good example). But humans still need to learn good; it doesn’t come naturally. All of us are endowed with the internal struggle to channel good over evil. Its not easy. But the reward of being free to express oneself without harming self or others is the outcome. Otherwise, society will suffer and burn while one person indulges themselves into narcissistic behavior until eventually they find them self alone and miserable and empty of any emotional happiness. Which would you prefer?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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