“Human nature explains away so many of our faults and challenges.” The class seemed to agree with the video that human nature could be defined as sin nature. I spoke and disagreed, but they dismissed my ideas that children want to share naturally or that children want to be nice naturally. It is only when circumstances or people teach them otherwise that being selfish becomes their human nature.
I find myself on the wrong side of that particular discussion more often than not. My husband and I had a chance to talk more about it on the trip home, and I was appeased a little to know that he agreed with my general idea.
He took it further.
“The nature of sin – that original sin – was a choice by Adam and Eve. Until they stepped out in that choice, it was just a possibility. The same holds true today.”
I liked that and I continued to mull over his additions to my original thoughts.
During a wait time, I had the opportunity to sift through the church library. The stacks of concordances and dictionaries let me dive in deeper to the understandings of human nature.
Human nature was not defined in the concordances, so I moved on to nature.
Strong’s Greek Dictionary said that nature is “the symbol of what is external.”
Strong’s Concordance gave two different explanations of nature. The first – phusis meaning natural production which came from the second – phuō meaning to puff or blog; to swell up; to germinate or grow.
Webster’s dictionary did offer a definition for human nature. “Common qualities; the pattern of responses inculcated (tread in; impress upon) by the tradition of the social group.”
Human nature – that nature that is a production of the flesh grown by the attitude, behaviors and ideals planted in the heart and mind.
All that I read expressed the same ideal my husband offered up – it is a choice.
I drink water almost every time there is an offer for drink. I started drinking water a while back and now it has become my nature to drink water (and I am human). I get up before the sunrise most mornings because I get up most mornings before the sun comes up. It has become part of my nature.
We do what we do because we do it.
Years ago I heard about a woman that was cooking dinner for her family. She took out the roast, cut off the butt end and then placed the rest of the roast in the pot before sliding the pot in the oven. Her husband watched her and hesitated. They had not been married all that long and he was not sure it would be right to question her cooking. He took a deep breath and dove in. “Why did you cut the butt off the roast?”
She looked at him like he had lost his mind. “Because my mom cut the end butt end off the roast.” She rolled her eyes.
The woman called her mother to satisfy her husband. Her mother responded the same way. “Because your grandmother cut the butt end off the roast.”
“But why?” The husband insisted.
The wife called her grandmother and asked her to answer the husband. “Oh, I did that because my pan was too small to hold the roast.”
What we are taught becomes human nature for our lives. If the children are sharing and loving, or if the children are selfish and unconcerned, it comes back to the choices we are showing and growing in them.
That is human nature.