It’s incredible how human beings can come up with excuses for sin. It says in the Bible, “There are many devices in a man’s heart, nevertheless the council of God stands assured”. (Proverbs 19:21) A popular phrase nowadays is “I was born this way.”
If that excuse would stand, then it should be the literal “get out of jail free” card for ever court case in the world. It reminds me of a popular phrase from a generation ago, “The devil made me do it.” Now folks don’t blame the devil; they say they are born with traits that the Bible has condemned from cover to cover.
Who knows? Maybe they are “born that way”? A lot of us are born with traits that perhaps have been handed down from generation to generation in our families, whether that’s done genetically or is something that has been the nature and atmosphere that has been in that family a long time.
But does that make it right? And does that make it inevitable that you’re preprogrammed, destined to be that way? Of course not. Here in America it’s popular to talk about “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” But when it comes to sins enslaving individuals, then it quickly becomes “the land of the chained and the home of the fearful.” But the power of God is just as real today as it has always been. God’s strength and deliverance is just as real and close as ever for anyone who was “born that way.”
What prompted this post was when I was working on one before this, about pride and humility, “All You Meek Of The Earth”. Some people say the same thing about pride, “I’m just naturally that way, I was born like this.”
Maybe so. But that doesn’t make it right. People nowadays are so “alienated from the life of God” (Ephesians 4:18), so distant from basic “Judeo- Christian” teaching that they don’t even know the difference between right and wrong.
There are oodles of things we may have been born with. I’ve known people who were just compulsive liars and it ruined their lives. Some are obsessed with gambling and it ruined their lives and their families as well. Some truly enjoy inflicting pain on others. I’ve sat and listened to a friend give a glowing panegyric of sadism, how natural it is, how human it is, how necessary it is and what a thrill it is.
That’s why Jesus said, “You must be born again” (John 3:3). Yes, maybe you were “born that way.” But you must be born again. Sadism, homosexuality, lying, gambling, gluttony, pride, fear, despair, violence and I could list 50 more are not the ways and the will of God.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith meekness, temperance, against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22 & 23) If you love God and your neighbor as yourself, most of the time you won’t be having run-ins with the law, or the police in this case. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)
So, “you’re born this way.” Everyone is. That’s why Jesus came, to give us “repentance to life“. (Acts 11:18) Maybe your sin is different from mine or someone else’s; but it’s still sin. I very nearly died in my sins. It was no joke, no time for some glib one-liners that thrill talk show hosts. I do sincerely hope that whatever it is that you were born with, that you will avail yourself of the power of God which can overcome any sin, any.
Of course the sad reality is that it’s not really that many folks were “born that way”, “They love to have it so” (Jeremiah 5:21). They reject the urgings and the admonitions of the Spirit of God that “the way they were born” is not of God and that they should repent. Jesus said, “Everyone that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” (John 3:20) It’s just the sinful nature of man and we all have that tendency. Some people have resisted the truth and the admonitions of friends and loved ones their entire lives. They go to the grave in their sins because they have loved them and claimed them as who they are.
But others say like the Apostle Paul, “Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?!” (Romans 7:24) For those folks, there’s a deliverance, a miraculous change, a metenoia that God has been granting to the vilest sinners for thousands of years.
You may be born that way. But you don’t have to stay that way. “Sin shall not have dominion over you”. (Romans 6:14) “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12) That verse is one of the most personal to me in the entire Bible. When I received Him, He gave me power against the sins that had overcome me and defeated me til then.
It’s free, it’s for everybody. You may be born that way. We all are. But you don’t have to stay that way. Unless you really like it and chose to. “Except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God”. (John 3:3)