[There’s a] mistaken philosophy prevalent in our world today, namely, that people are inherently good and only act badly because of their upbringing or negative influences in their lives....
You don’t have to teach a child to sin
In other words, people do bad things because of the bad influences or problems in their lives. Deep down people are good. Sin is simply a learned behavior.
The problem is, you don’t have to teach a child to sin. You don’t have to teach a person to be selfish. You don’t have to teach people to hate. We do it quite naturally on our own.
King David admitted in Psalm 51, “Surely I was sinful from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” From the moment of conception we are stained with selfishness. We are sinful down to our very genes. Your infant daughter can figure out on her own how to get angry without ever having seen you get angry.
We do need to be taught to truly love
We don’t need to be taught how to sin. We do, however, need to be taught how to truly love. To understand love we need to simply see Jesus who loved us, the unlovable. In fact, he loved us so much, he sacrificed everything, including his life for us. He suffered the punishment of all our selfishness, anger and hate on the cross.
We do need Jesus
Seeing his love and forgiveness shows us what true love is. His love and forgiveness are our motivation and strength to love everyone – even those who are different than us – even those who seem to be unlovable.
The roots of that hatred and prejudice go much deeper. They are ensconced in the heart of every human being on this planet.
The only cure for that is Jesus.
Source: 364 Days of Thanksgiving by Pastor Andy Schroer, Pastor Schroer serves Redeemer Lutheran Church in Edna, TX. Read the unabridged version of this devotion and sign up to receive Pastor Schroer's posts by tapping here.