Not being reconciled to the fact that sin exists is what produces all the disasters in life. We talk about the nobility of human nature, but something in human nature laughs in the face of our ideals. If we refuse to accept that there is wickedness and self-seeking in human beings, something downright spiteful and wrong, we’ll compromise with sin and say there’s no use battling against it when it shows up in our lives.

Have you made allowance for the hour “when darkness reigns” in you? Or do you have a conception of yourself that leaves out sin? In your friendships and physical relationships, are you caught off guard by sinful impulses, or do you reconcile yourself in advance to the reality of sin? If you do, you’ll recognize danger the instant it appears; you’ll know ahead of time what engaging in sinful behavior would mean. Recognizing that sin exists doesn’t destroy human relationships; it establishes a mutual regard founded on the fact that the basis of life is tragic.

Always beware of an estimate of human nature that doesn’t take the existence of sin into account. Jesus Christ never trusted human nature, yet he was never cynical, never suspicious. He trusted absolutely in what God could do.

The pure person, not the innocent person, is the safeguarded person. Innocence is the quality of the child. You are never safe with an innocent man or woman; God demands that we be pure and virtuous. It is a blameworthy thing not to be reconciled to the fact of sin.

Wisdom from Oswald

We are only what we are in the dark; all the rest is reputation. What God looks at is what we are in the dark—the imaginations of our minds; the thoughts of our heart; the habits of our bodies; these are the things that mark us in God’s sight.  The Love of God—The Ministry of the Unnoticed, 669 L