What is wrong with us? What can fix it? (Spirit of the Disicplines Chapter 11)

As Willard wraps up his book, he revisits the questions he has asked throughout the book. The two fundamental questions are questions that everyone, in all ages, have asked: What is wrong with us? What can fix what is wrong with us?
He says that what is wrong with us is radical evil. And this deeply rooted evil that is lodged within us is something we do not like to admit. In fact, he says, “The full horror of actual human behavior is like the face of Medusa in Greek mythology. We sense that if we look squarely at it we will be turned to stone.” We conclude that we can stay as we are, yet are surprised when our evil is exposed and we face consequences for our actions.
Though we don’t like to admit it, we like evil. We are somehow attracted to it. Willard points out that we only have to look at our entertainment – books, movies, television, and music – to see how attractive evil is and how dull virtue is.
The truth is, Willard says, we are ready from the inside, to do evil. We are flammable material waiting to ignite. Willard says, “It does not take much to get most people to lie…or to take what does not belong to them, and shamefully little to get them to think of how nice it would be if certain others were dead.”
The answer to this evil that is lodged in our hearts. “We must change from within.” The only way for evil to be dislodged from within is by faith in Jesus Christ alone. And as a result of that radical faith in Christ, we then discipline ourselves to transform character into the design God has always intended for us. Then those people who are transformed go out into the world and change it.
And this is where Willard seems to get things right. Start with an understanding of the problem. Realize change must start from the inside out. Change the heart. Change the actions. And change the world.


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