I’ve always considered the study of mankind quite interesting.
Assessing the Human Condition has been addressed by many disciplines and includes certain aspects of life, such as birth, growth, emotion, aspiration, inspiration, conflict and mortality.
It is often addressed from religion, philosophy, history, art, literature, anthropology, psychology and biology. It’s only natural at least to be somewhat inquisitive about certain aspects of life and have a desire to know more of our existence and our purpose here on this planet.
As a novice, I’m most interested in seeking God’s purpose in creating us and looking at the wonder of it all. We are certainly unique in many ways.
Over this past year in facing the COVID-19 pandemic, we have an opportunity to learn much about ourselves and those around us. Our weaknesses become more apparent and our strengths less significant.
This is a time when we would all be wise to truly work together and do all we can to help those who God places in our path.
Many continue to be riddled with fear and barely leave their domicile, concerned over the health of their loved ones and their own well-being. Some are suffering deep depression and are considering ending it all.
Others seem quite angry with political and social constraints that have occurred that limit our ability to get on with a fairly normal life. Many are deeply affected by the lack of personal contact with family members, friends and others they miss dearly.
This pandemic has caused substantial vulnerability.
As a Christian writer, I’m intrigued with this topic from the perspective of my Lord and Savior. And, my starting point comes right from Genesis 3, where we first hear of the serpent’s confrontation with Eve in the Garden of Eden, which led to the fall of mankind.
That original sin has become a curse to mankind and has led to the pain we all must experience in our lives — ending in physical death.
In Genesis 2:15-16 we read: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.’”
Did you hear that? God said “when,” not “if” man eats from the tree. He knew that man would fall for the temptation before him.
Let’s not dwell on the sin of Adam and Eve. We would have done exactly what they did. It’s our nature. It’s our human condition — the way God created us. We are all made in God’s image — yet He is without sin! Let’s dig deeper into what Scripture says about just who we are.
Listen to these words of wisdom penned by King Solomon in Proverbs 14:12-14: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death. Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief. The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good man rewarded for his.”
There’s much to be gleaned from the Book of Proverbs for those wanting to better understand why we are the way we are.
King David addresses the human condition in Psalm 103:15-18: “As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children — with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.”
David knew that he was loved by God Almighty and his faith carried him through many trials before he became King of Israel. God also carried him through many challenging circumstances during his 40-year reign as well. You may want to read 1 Chronicles (Chapters 11-29) — the best account of David’s life, in my personal opinion.
Let me conclude by sharing how the Holy Spirit has comforted me through this past year. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, the Apostle Paul explains God’s response to his pleading to remove the thorn in his flesh: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Yes, His grace is sufficient for all. To God be the glory!
Passages to Ponder
— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at [email protected] for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.