For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adultery, fornication, murder, theft, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.
— Mark 7:21-23
The greatest minds have known that man was sinful. Albert Einstein said: “The real problem is in the hearts and minds of men. It is not a problem of physics but of ethics. It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit of man.”
Shakespeare, who was a masterful student of human nature, had Cassius tell Brutus the truth: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings” (Julius Caesar). How very true that is.
The problem is within us—that we are underlings, that we are sinners. The problem is not in our environment. I think of the man a hundred years ago who was driving into Maine with his wagon and his horses. He was laboriously beating his horses, and they were straining mightily to climb this long hill. Finally, as he passed a farmer who was standing on the edge of the road watching him in some amazement as he furiously drove his horses, he cried out to the farmer. “Sir, how long does this hill last?
The farmer said, “Hill, nothing. Your hind wheels are off.”
Are you having problems, my friend? You had better check your hind wheels. They may be off. The problem may be within. The only hill may be in your heart.