The Goodness of Depravity
As in the days of Bastille, the gates are being stormed again. What is to be set free this time? The notion of sin. Unlock it, let it fly away, let it be gone from us forever.The concept of human depravity, the archaic belief that we are somehow systemically sinful needs to suffer an extinction.
The human is good we are told, based on what? We don’t know, we are just supposed to believe it’s true, bad things that happen all have reasonable explanations.
Environment, illness, and unfortunate circumstances are all much more civilized explanations for bad behaviour then this black heart theory.
David knew better. He looked into his own heart and he saw the blackness that was there.
What did the acknowledgment of his own depravity do?
It made him humble — in this passage there’s not a trace of pride or arrogance, he was painfully aware of his sin
It made him grateful — God had chosen to bless him in spite of his depravity. Everything he had was more than he deserved
It made him worshipful — his heart overflowed in love for God because of his good fortune
. He was unworthy, but loved anyway.
Without human depravity the natural tendency would be for
- Humility to become pride
- Gratitude to become a demanding of my rights
- Worship to become self exaltation
Human flourishing does not occur when these trade offs happen
“What more can I say to you about the way you have honored me? You know what your servant is really like.”
I Chronicles 17:18