Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Scientific Study of the Sin Nature?

Awhile back my friend Ed Willett did a column on why people resist doing what they are told. No one, it seems, likes to be told what to do. Especially if they don't see any good reason to do it. On the other hand, I do think sometimes people do like being told what to do, because then they don't have to think about what they're doing. But it doesn't take much to get them not to want to do what they're told.

Psycologists, says Ed, call this "reactance," and it generally happens when we perceive a rule or restriction as unfair. Recent research at Duke University shows this emotional and sometimes irrational "reactance" can be triggered even when we're unaware of it. But rather than quote from Ed's article, I'll simply send you over to it:

Why Won't You do what You're told?

I think it's endemic to our nature. The original sin of the original sinner was not eating fruit, but going off on a course independent from God's. I speak of Satan, of course, though basically that's what the woman did as well. And the man. All three decided that God's plan stunk and their own was much better. To a large degree that same mindset plagues us all, still, though we are very good at hiding it, camouflaging it, rationalizing it, or maybe, as in the experiment mentioned in Ed's article, not even realizing it. We have sick heads, deceitful hearts, we don't know our own motives half the time, and we are more than capable of carrying a lie in our right hand (the hand of power) and without even knowing it. Look at the Laodicean believers: they thought themselves were rich and wealthy and in need of nothing and did not know they were poor and wretched and miserable and naked. That's quite an indictment of self-evaluation! At least self-evaluation apart from the filling of the Holy Spirit and the truths of God's word.

Something to think about...