We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
- Romans 7:14-20
I am kind of on another television commercial rant, but this is specific to natural disaster advertisements.
Have you seen the insurance commercial where a man stands next to a piano in the middle of rubble as far as the eye can see? It looks more like tornado damage more than hurricane damage, but the commercial seems to play on every network at least once each hour when there is a pending storm, raging storm, or a clean-up after the storm has passed. I doubt if they ever run the commercial at any other time.
But, regardless of the moral implications of advertising while people are hurting, what happens next? The insurance agent pats the man on the shoulder and the announcer says that “Human nature is greater than nature.” Then they show a mathematical expression that says the exact same thing, “Human Nature > Nature.”
Hey! If you can reduce what you said to a mathematical expression, it must be true, right!?!
Sorry. I have been victim of a college professor who wrote the wrong mathematical expression in a mid-term examination. Those expressions seem to have the same sin nature that we have, due to the human that writes them.
In the Scripture above, Paul talks about our sin nature. If you read those “boring” history books in the Old Testament, you see that God’s chosen people disobeyed God whenever they could, regardless of what the consequences were. So, the Apostle Paul had history to back up his claim, but he knew himself, and he knew that he was not unique when it came to the lack of resistance to temptation.
Yet, I would not like to see the insurance agent try to prove the statement in the commercial. Ten feet of storm surge from a hurricane versus insurance agent with a pure heart? Sorry, storm surge will win that one. EF-2 Tornado, forget anything stronger? Tornado wins, and probably wins if an EF-0 direct hit. Derecho? Derecho wins. Wild Fire? Volcano? Earthquake? Forget it! The insurance agent with the pure heart will lose all of those, including tripping on a smooth carpeted floor where there was nothing there to trip over. (And please comment that you have done that. I do not want to be the only one!!!)
But back to the insurance agent… After he pats the guy on the back, he does a computer search to ensure himself that the guy at the piano is up to date with his insurance premiums and that he has not paid any payments late in the past five years. Then he bickers over every request for reimbursement. He might say, “In this house that was tossed miles away from here due to a tornado, can you prove that you had a television? I know a lot of people who do not have televisions. We cannot buy you a television just on your say so. Where is your proof?”
Word of warning: Long before disaster strikes, take photos and videos of everything in your home to prove that you really had those things, and then make sure your insurance policy will cover the replacement.
No, human nature is far less than nature, both in strength and integrity and immensely less when considering love. We will opt for the money any time.
There is another commercial from the world famous disaster relief organization that says roughly the same thing. And they could show “proof” in that people give during times of disaster. People ignore the possibility of disaster when things are going well, so are humans that “good” when they only give to disaster relief when there is a disaster? That organization has cleverly subverted my reason for not donating to them – okay, one of the reasons. When Hurricane Zelda (to pick a random name) tears through Florida (to pick a random location, but “Zelda?” late in the season?), they used to say, “To give to Hurricane Zelda relief, call this number, or text, …” But the money that you give at that point, goes into their general coffers and the well-paid executives take their 6-digit or higher salaries off the top. Now they say, “Hurricane Zelda has taken away some of our reserve. You can give to replenish our supplies in the warehouse for future disasters, like Hurricane Zelda.” That is at least less falsehood. And don’t get me wrong, they do good work, but other people do good work without the high overhead, especially the high-paid executives.
The Apostle Paul says that when given the chance, we will sin. Isaiah 64:6 says, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
I just cannot buy the idea that is prevalent today that we are that good that we can ignore God and show how wonderful we are toward our neighbors. History does not support the modern secularist ideas of the “do gooder” nor does it support the idea that we are inherently “good.”
But I can understand sin nature. I live that one. I seem to repeat Romans 7 each day. But praise the Lord. The book of Romans does not end there. God had paid the price and, to those who believe and trust in Him, God has afforded us Grace.
Can I rewrite the advertisement slogan?
God’s Grace > Nature + Man’s Sin Nature
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.