I think the essence of sin must be wanting my own way instead of God’s.
One of my sons used to object to Ken Collier’s statement, “Just two choices on the shelf: pleasing God or pleasing self” because it is possible to please both God and self if self is perfectly submitted to God. And that’s true. But we still have a constant pull toward wanting things our own way when God or the authorities He has placed over us want something from us other than what we want at the time.
Some time back I looked up verses containing the word “own” in them and sorted through the ones that speak of our own way in some form. It’s a very convicting study! I found some four pages of verses — too many to reproduce here. But I wanted to share some of them. I know sometimes it is hard to just read through a list of verses, but I would encourage you to look through them, note the dangers of our own way, and apply God’s remedy. Even more, though, I would encourage you to do this study on your own. Looking up these verses one by one had a greater impact than reading them.
Judges 17:6b: Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
II Kings 17:33: They feared the LORD, and served their own gods.
Isa. 53:6: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Prov. 14:14a: The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways
Prov. 21:2: Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.
Isa. 65:2: I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;
Isa. 66:3: Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.
Jer 18:12: And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.
Ezek. 13:2: Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD;
Eze 16:15a: But thou didst trust in thine own beauty,
Mark 7:9: And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
Rom. 10:3: For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Rom. 16:18: For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly
Php 2:21: For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.
II Tim. 3:2b: For men shall be lovers of their own selves
Jude 1:16: These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
Prov. 25:28: He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
Ps. 22:29: None can keep alive his own soul.
Ps. 81:12: So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels.
Prov. 1:31: Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
Ezek. 11:21b: I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord GOD.
Ezek. 36:31: Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.
Rom. 1:24: Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
I Cor. 6:19: What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
Ps. 44:3: For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them.
Prov. 25:27b: For men to search their own glory is not glory.
I Samuel 15:17: And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?
Prov. 3:5: Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Prov. 3:7: Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
Prov. 12:15b: He that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
Mt. 7:5a: Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye…
I Cor. 10:33: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
I Cor. 13:5: Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil….
II Cor. 8:5: And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
Php 3:9: And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.
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sharon hinck at sharonhinck.com
This is such a thought-provoking study. I just want to do what God wills for my life and not just what’s convenient or easy. Thanks for the challenge to go beyond my own desires and constantly seek the will of God!
Such a great list of verses, Barbara! Thank you!
This is a terrific list and excellent reminder of the frailties of man that must be fought against daily. Thanks for posting it.
BTW, I finished the Isobel Kuhn biography that you suggested and really enjoyed it. Now from her writing, I realize I need to read Hudson Taylor’s bio. Thanks again.
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