Your Character, Perverted by Sin
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Only God can create; that is, form something out of nothing. Satan can only copy or misuse what God has done, so I use the word “pervert” to describe his work. Sin perverts God’s design and plan, and that’s evident in our character.
As I explained in “It All Began in the Garden of Eden,” self-centeredness motivated the first act of disobedience and it’s the basis of all other sin.
Sin perverted our character, motivating us to focus on ourselves. It makes us more concerned about our own thoughts, feelings and desires than those of other people, and we value our own opinion more than others’. Self-centeredness causes us to defend ourselves, protect ourselves, justify ourselves and shift the blame to others.
Self-centeredness affects everything we do. For example, God designed us to be fulfilled and satisfied when we do well. At each stage of creation, God looked at his work and said, “That is good.” He was satisfied with his work and he made us like himself, so we feel good about our work, too. However, self-centeredness causes those good feelings to become the goal. We like feeling good and we want to do what makes us feel good! So what God intended as a reward or fringe benefit becomes our goal. As a result, since we’re most effective and feel most fulfilled when using our natural abilities, we use those abilities for the good feelings they give us instead of the benefits they provide others.
Sin perverted God’s design. God intends for us to use our abilities to serve others. Self-centeredness causes us to use our abilities to make ourselves feel good; that is, to serve ourselves.
I’m not suggesting it’s wrong to be satisfied or fulfilled in what we do, because that’s a result of being God’s image. However, sin motivates us to do whatever makes us feel good about ourselves, so we focus on ourselves and that’s the problem.
Self-centeredness is so deeply ingrained in us, we usually have difficulty seeing it as a sin, but it is. It’s the exact opposite of godly character.