The root of all evil. They say it’s money (don’t they?). Or if you talk about what’s the foundational sin, the root of all sins, the sin underneath our outward acts of sin, they say it’s pride.
Well, I don’t buy it.
What is pride, anyway? When I try and connect the word pride with some of my sin patterns, it just doesn’t fit. I’m not an addict to PC games out of pride. I don’t always get unnecessarily frustrated at things not going my way out of pride.
No, I think there’s a motivation other than pride under my sin. And another motivation below that.
Why did Adam and Eve sin?
1. They didn’t trust that God was looking out for their best when He told them not to eat fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and
2. They decided they needed to take matters into their own hands (and mouths!) in order to meet their needs (because, presumably, God would not do so). So, they took control (ok, I’ll grant you that there’s pride in thinking we are able to control anything!).
The underlying motivations? Lack of trust and a resulting need to control.
Now that fits much better with my sins.
I feel stressed. I want to remove the pain. I DON’T TRUST God enough to endure the pain. At some level, I don’t believe He has a good reason to allow it. So I TAKE CONTROL and treat the pain with a numbing addiction.
Things aren’t going the way I want. I DON’T TRUST that God can meet my needs in such circumstances. So I TAKE CONTROL and fix things the way I like them.
I tell you: distrust and control work better for me as the reason for my sin than pride does.
But, lo… there’s a deeper sin lying beneath these sinful motivations which drive my outward sin. There’s a root of evil down there. And here’s what it is:
It’s all about me.
And it was all about Adam and Eve.
They walked in the presence of God Himself, beholding His beauty. Yet they took their eyes off Him and focused on themselves. They became the center of their own universe, and when they did, they became obsessed with meeting their own needs.
And since God denied Adam and Eve the tree’s fruit (and they needed the fruit of that tree…), they began to distrust His good intention towards them. Then, to ensure their needs were met, Adam and Eve took control and got what they wanted.
They ate the fruit.
So, what’s the root of all evil?
Complete, utter, self-centerdness.
As Larry Crabb says, human beings need “a Copernican revolution of the heart” to dig up that root: the center of our heart’s universe must move from us back to God.
Boy, when I think back over my blogs of the last few months, that’s what I see: self-centerdness. God help me.
In His graciousness, God is helping me. He is starting to open my the eyes of my heart to some egregious manifestations of my flesh that I had not before seen.
Thank God that the flesh’s drive to enthrone me will one day be fully conquered by my new nature’s desire and determination to return the King of Kings to the throne in every area of my life.
Dear Lord: Thanks for showing me my heart this week. Even though it stinks. Amen.