|The "Garden Of Eden," portrait by Peter Wenzell.|
After all, despite our human imperfection, most people generally believe that there are strict Moral and Ethical Boundaries which should never be crossed. Even as we are equally aware, that functional human beings are capable of controlling their own Individual Free Will - under normally occurring conditions and circumstances. Moreover, the fact that most of us can do so under the possibility of Life and/or Death Circumstances - such as: emergencies, disasters, and wars - certainly bolsters this commonly shared and un-shake-able belief. And yet, seeming functional and completely ordinary people are continually being caught up in amazingly complicated and morally compromised positions. What's [honestly] up with that?
Although numerous: psychiatrists, psychologists, and [even] family counselors possess their own opinions - upon this all important subject - it is certainly important to note, that they themselves are statistically more likely [than most of us] to suffer from these conceptually diagnosed: "Deleterious and Dysfunctional Neuroses." This is not to say that their individual opinions are entirely worthless... but, it does open one's eyes in this highly important area of ongoing human understanding. One must honestly ask the question: "If they know most of the real answers, then why can't they even apply them satisfactorily to their-own selves?"
Theorhetically, it should be easier to diagnose ones own self, than another; and, given a modicum of personal self-control, to fix whatever is honestly wrong! Of course, this isn't what actually happens... now is it? However, most modern human beings will pay thousands for a well-educated human therapist - rather than reading their God-given owners manual, or even kneeling down to pray, for free.... Meanwhile, many of them will do so for decades without any apparent improvement; or release from their terribly inflamed personal conscience. This seems to me, to be quite tragic! For there is a counselor, who doesn't suffer from this inherently human disease.
More importantly, He wrote the Owners Manual - which governs everyone of His personal creations, and offers factual explanations - as to [precisely] where these troubles lie. The Sacred Scriptures - to which we have conferred the name of "The Bible" - are this God-given owners manual; and they offer some excellent explanations and [even] considerable corrective advice. It accurately identifies numerous Key Reasons why people in-advertantly act as they do. For instance, consider just these Five Main Reasons - there are honestly several more to ponder.
The Five Main Reasons For Wickedness:
1. "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." - 1 Timothy 6:10.
The common saying: "Every man has his price," simply states a proverbial truism about our common humanity! The majority of all humans will even violate their own moral and ethical standards, once a large enough inducement is perceived for doing so. Many who appear honest, humble, and considerate - under normal circumstances - find it very easy to shift gears, once enough money [or, material possessions] are quite frankly involved. In fact, they can become: obnoxious, hostile, violent, and even murderous toward others - dependent upon what is personally at stake. Don't fool yourselves, in this area! How many of our social ailments and outright criminal activities are rooted in greed - for instance: blackmail, embezzlement, extortion, fraud, kidnapping, robbery, and [even] murder?
2. "But each one is tempted when he is drawn by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown brings forth death." - James 1:14-15.
All human beings are susceptible to individual temptations - based upon our own personal: agendas, goals, wants, needs, or desires! Every day, we are continually being bombarded by countless errant suggestions [or temptations] - to go against our own morals, ethics, and/or best judgment. In fact, today - with the advent of our modern commercialization and multifaceted informational mediums - we are more susceptible to these socially derived temptations, than ever before in Earth's history. In earlier Biblical Times, it was far easier to more reasonably avoid them... however, the various temptations themselves haven't really changed. And yet, each individual human possesses an ability to resist them - when he, or she, exercises self-restraint and personal self-control.
3. "Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." - Ecclesiastes 8:11.
This scripture points out that all humans have a tendency toward thinking that they can get away with something when those in authority aren't watching; and if they are largely inept at assigning blame, or swiftly and effectively punishing it! This is equally true for: traffic or speeding violations, honesty on tests or exams, embezzling or stealing from an employer, and even much worse civil offenses. "When the cat is away, the mice will most frequently play," is another proverbial truism - which has been proven time and time again. Although such an observation isn't Rocket Science, it is a well documented fact which is very foolish for us to ignore. Just thoughtfully consider the experiences acquired, while raising your own teenage children!
4. "He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed." - Proverbs 13:20.
As much as we like to tell ourselves otherwise, it is a mere fact of human nature that most of us behave have better and/or worse depending upon the company we are currently with and generally keep throughout life! For instance, someone who normally cusses like a lowly born sailor can be remarkably well-spoken in church - while reverting back to his more common nature, among his usual group of friends... while someone who is largely very honest, can easily rationalize stealing when others friendships are honestly at stake. The term Peer Pressure wasn't coined without reason... and: "Birds of a feather," do [in fact], "Flock together!"
5. "Surely oppression destroys a wise man's reason, and a bride debases the heart." - Ecclesiastes 7:7.
Of all the reasons being mentioned, this one is [perhaps] the most understandable of them all. There are numerous forms of Forced Manipulative Coercion and most human beings have been subjected to one of them, or another, at some point in their personal lives! These may include: implied, threatened, or enforced governmental sanctions unless you do something against your wishes... retribution for - being upon the receiving end of - these same unjust circumstances... or, even as a result of emotional blackmail - by your family, wife, or children. How long can many of us hold out, when [even] our own families offer us "The Cold Shoulder?"
Regardless of which reasons, that we do these foolish things, it all boils down to three highly important and relevant individual factors. Each of us possesses: the Freedom To Choose, a certain amount of Self-Control, and a Personal Threshold - beyond which, we will knowingly crumble under the weight of individual circumstance! Consequently, we are scripturally implored to intentionally and assertively avoid all opportunities for temptation - with a particular emphasis upon those sins for which we have an exceptional [or personal] predilection.
Why Do We Have, "Freedom Of Choice?"
We have Freedom Of Choice, because Yahweh [God] couldn't be satisfied with a colony of mindless, cold-hearted, and antiseptic machines! He desired for Himself to have human children upon whom He could love, dote, and adore. And yet, the addition of Individual Self-Direction - and its resultant Personal Freedoms - was a necessary part of this all-important equation. Although Individual Free Will must make allowances for the unintended consequences of: Hatred, Greed, and Evil; it also provides the necessary structural foundation for: Love, Generosity, and Kindness - as well. Ultimately, the child shall determine his own path, for better or worse.
Nor, is Yahweh complicit in our own tendencies toward evil, since He has consistently offered: loving, reasonable, and sound advice to His children - through, "His Still Small Voice." If only our hereditary parents were as thoughtful, attentive, and consistent in our continual upbringing; many of us, might have chosen entirely different physical paths, and/or spiritual, directions! And yet, each individual person largely chooses his, or her, own personal courses of direction. Just as the wise man once said: "You may lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink any of it." After all, people are not [entirely] the product of their upbringing, or environment. But, in the end, they are whatever they choose to be!