She began to walk back and forth surveying each individual cookie. She made one pass and then turned to make another pass to inspect. I knew what she was doing, but I couldn't help but ask her to confirm. This is how the conversation went.
Me: What are you doing?
Child: I am trying to see which cookie is the biggest one.
Me: Oh, are you trying to find the biggest cookie so you can give the biggest cookie to your friend?
Child: No, I am trying to find the biggest cookie for myself.
There it is. The truth of our humanness. We are selfish. No one had to teach her how to look for the best cookie for herself. What is harder is trying to teach ourselves and our children to be selfless and to give the best to others and not keep it for ourselves.
I know I have done it myself. Have I ever taken the less burned cookie? Have I ever taken the best spot to watch a movie? Have I ever wanted to get to the front of the line to get the good stuff at a potluck rather than letting everyone else go first so I wouldn't have to be left with the scraps at the back of the line? Of course I have.
The experience profoundly struck me and confirmed what I already know to be true. We are not good, but bad. There is a warm and fuzzy concept these days which more and more people seem to want to embrace. That is that we are all born good, or we are all intrinsically good. It is a brilliant concept really, because if you believe this, you don't need any redemption. The truth is, however, that we are selfish at our nature. Parents don't struggle to teach their children to be bad. We do struggle to teach them to share, be kind, to be unselfish, have self-control, and be happy for someone else. The reason is that these things do not come naturally. We are all sinners in need of a Saviour.
As the Christmas songs begin to be played at the stores and as we approach the Christmas season, it is just such a good reminder of why there had to be an immaculate conception. Psalm 51:5 (NIV) says, "Surely, I was sinful since birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me." Jesus skipped the sin of conception and lead a sinless life so we could have a sinless Saviour. One that could save us from all our sins, because we are not perfect or good. We are all sinners. We can never be good enough to be reconciled with God. Only through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and our belief in Him can we be reconciled with God. It is not of our own merit, but only His. It is a great reminder as to what the upcoming Christmas holidays are really all about.
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23, ESV