Doing What Comes Naturally

“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” Psalm 51:5

Humanistic and Christian psychologists differ significantly in how they view human nature. Secular psychologists see children as born “good,” or at least “morally neutral.” They believe children learn to do wrong from parental mistakes and a corrupt society.

As Christians, however, we know otherwise. Deep within our character is a self‐will that is inborn, part of our genetic nature. We desire to control people, our circumstances, our environment—we want what we want, and we want it now. Adam and Eve demonstrated this when they ate the forbidden fruit. Toddlers stamp their little feet and throw temper tantrums. Husbands and wives illustrate the same willfulness when they argue about how to spend money—or about whether the toilet paper should roll from the front or the back. King David referred to this basic human nature when he wrote, “In sin did my mother conceive me.”

Only Jesus Christ can help us deal with the depravity that leads us to be selfish, arrogant, and disobedient. He has promised to do for us what we are powerless to accomplish on our own. Let’s talk about that.

Just between us . . .

  • Do you agree that humans are born with a bent toward sin? Why or why not?
  • Is there an area of your life that used to be a struggle, but that you’ve given over to God with positive results?
  • Do you think selfishness is a problem in our marriage?
  • How can we encourage each other in this area?

Father, we admit our sinful and selfish ways. We look to You for forgiveness and healing. Thank You for Your mercies. We need Your power to change— and we reach for it together. Amen.

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This devotional is taken from Night Light for Couples. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.