A friend of mine writes that “we are all essentially evil at the core.” And I’ve heard this statement shared so many times in Sunday sermons, in conservative Christians’ view of scripture, in the arguments used for a “just war” or in explanations as to why nobody can ever live a truly “holy” life.
But I disagree. If we’re created by God and in God’s image, then the core of our very being must be good. Even someone who doesn’t know God (or believe in God’s existence) has the ability to recognize truth, to give and receive love. I think sin (or evil) is more like an artificial covering, something we like to wear because of the false feelings of protection and power that it provides. The problem is that in trying to protect our own interests, we selfishly cause harm to others (or short-sightedly cause harm to ourselves). And in trying to gain control over our own destinies, we too often decide that someone else’s dreams don’t matter, giving ourselves permission to do whatever is necessary to “win.”
we too often decide that someone else’s dreams don’t matter