Your Character, Perverted by Sin
Only God can create, form something out of nothing. Satan can only copy or misuse what God has done; I use the word “pervert” to describe his work. Sin perverts God’s design and plan, and that’s evident in your 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 has perverted your character, motivating you to focus on yourself. It makes you more concerned about your own thoughts, feelings and desires than those of other people and value your own opinion more highly than others’. Self-centeredness causes you to defend yourself, protect yourself, justify yourself and shift the blame to others.
Self-centeredness affects everything you do. For example, God designed us to be fulfilled and satisfied when we do well. At each stage of creation, God looked at what he had done and said, “That is good.” He was satisfied with his work. He made you like himself, so you feel good about your work, too. However, self-centeredness causes those good feelings to become the goal. You like feeling good, so you want to do things that make you feel good! So what God intended as a reward or fringe benefit becomes the goal. As a result, since you are most effective and feel most fulfilled when using your natural abilities, you use those abilities for the good feelings they produce instead of the benefit they provide others.
Sin perverted God’s design. God’s intent was for each of us to use our abilities to serve others. Self-centeredness causes each of 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 you do, because that is a result of being God’s image. However, sin motivates us to do whatever makes us feel good about ourselves, so the focus shifts and that is 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.