Monday, 6 April 2009

Human nature revealed

Trying to recommit to a daily reflection on this blog.

The truth of the biblical view of human nature has stuck me recently from the press. Many bankers have proved themselves corrupt or selfish in their negligence. And we have just heard of the self-justifying dishonesty in many PM's expense claims.

Some would love to say these are isolated individuals. But the fact is that although human beings can do good, given power, opportunity and lack of accountability, our true self shows itself. We are rather like plants. We grow in lines when cultivated and with the guidance of stakes etc. But when left to ourselves, our nature is unruly.

Apparently a huge amount of the population are less than honesty on their expenses or tax returns. So given the same opportunities as the bankers and PM's, we would be likely to do the same.

At one level this should ensure humility and self-reflection when it comes to these stories. At another it should convict us of our need of the forgiveness and transformation that comes through the gospel of Christ, and increase our thankfulness for it.

We might add it also strongly advocates 'small government,' as we see that our politicians aren't the exceptional individuals we sometimes want to assume. They are deeply fallible, lost and confused in their thinking just like the rest of us. It is a sign of God's common grace that we enjoy any political stability at all. And interesting too that in the 17th century, some suggested that only committed Christians in good favour with their churches should vote. The assumption was that the work of government was so important that only the truly regenerate were fit for it. One sees why. How much better things would be if politicians had a nature that sought to prioritise others and God's wisdom on how best to do that.