Greater Things > Topical > Natural Man -- Enemy to God

Natural Man -- Enemy to God

by Susan Carter

From: ren and susan carter <>
To: David's Outcasts <>
Date: Thursday, October 21, 1999 5:32 PM
Subject: 888Natural Man--Enemy to God

David's Outcasts -

Natural Man--An Enemy to God

Mosiah states that the natural man is an enemy to God and has been since the fall of Adam and that we need to put off the natural man and become as a child.  To fully understand this saying we must first understand what is meant by the "natural man."  A pretty safe definition would be one who grows without spiritual restraint, a worldly person.  A worldly person cares nothing for others but is focused on himself.  He sounds like a child going through the terrible twos, suddenly aware of self-identity and saying me me all the time.  Age sixteen is also another very self-aware time of life and many tend to be quite selfish at that age.  A worldly person mirrors those ego states and is very egocentric.  In this deplorable state he is an enemy to God.  Yet Christ says to "Love thine enemies."   How can I love the natural man and overcome him all at the same time?  How can I stop acting like a kid going through the Terrible Two's and Selfish Sixteen's and "becometh like a child" at the same time?

Young children know they don't know, they are humble.  They are open to all possibilities including magic and God and heaven and tooth fairies.  They are willing to listen with open wonderment and awe.  They are quick to embrace the beautiful and the brave and cheer for the good guys.  They don't have a lot of set ideas.   They listen to everyone.  Their little hearts respond to anyone willing to love them.  They make the most of each moment.  Yesterday and tomorrow have little meaning to them.  Now is all that counts.  They tell the truth.   They find happiness in little things and are quite content with very little.   They eyes shine and their giggles are infectious.   They are joy itself.

The natural man knows everything and knows that he knows it.  He has degrees and experience and tenure and titles and money to prove it.  He has very set ideas about what is true and what is not.  If you try and tell him something contrary to what he "knows" he will go to great lengths to show you how wrong you are and does not care if his methods wound you in any way.  After all He is Right.  He has books and professors and prophets and scriptures and traditions to back up his every opinion.   He will back you up if you agree with him and defend you untiringly, but say one thing wrong and you get the boot rather unceremoniously.  Their spouses often complain that they won't talk or open up, but always keep a stiff upper lip.  They expect a lot from their kids and they had darn well better measure up (in music or science or sports or academia or position or status).  Then there is the new natural man.   He is more sensitive, helps with the kids more, but heaven help the person that sees it differently than he does.  He starts throwing around politically or religiously correct terminology faster than a speeding bullet.  They will quit working so hard when.....they get the next promotion or the bigger boat or the next book published or they are released as Bishop or WHATEVER it is that strokes their ego.   Their rare quiet moments are spent in regret over the past or planning for the future.  Today slips through their fingers like melted butter.  Their words are spoken to protect....themselves, the boss, their spouse, their beliefs.  Their eyes are dull and ringed .  Their laugh is hollow and sullen.  They find little joy in life at all.  How can we love this miserable creature?

As we love a two year old.  We, the parents, know that this is a stage, albeit a difficult one.  We have faith that our child will eventually outgrow it.  We just keep loving and teaching and mentoring that child every minute of every day.   But we are the parent and we are in control.  Until the child figures that out there are terrible tantrums and scenes.  And when they have tested our strength as parents to the limits they turn three and peace reigns once again.

In each of us is a willful two year old, the natural man.  But also there is a loving, kind, patient parent, the spiritual man.  The parent loves his child, but knows who needs to be in charge.  This parent is spontaneous, open, freely affectionate, appropriately firm, and curious to learn everything about the world again with their child.  As the child grows and matures, one day you cannot tell the child from the parent, it is as though they are one.  What one says the other would say.   What one does the other would do.  It is a joyous time for both of them.   Their tenderness and regard for one another are unequalled.  They are no more double minded but united in love.

May each of us love our natural man into a state of such joy.

From: hawkiye <>
To: David's Outcasts <>
Date: Friday, October 22, 1999 4:28 PM
Subject: Re: 888Natural Man--Enemy to God

David's Outcasts -

I find myself mostly as you describe the "new natural man" the "miserable creature" you describe feels much like me. I Like to think I have my moments of progressing beyond that but cannot seem to sustain it as I would like. Then there have been times when I know I have grown beyond that but some how always find myself back at home in that miserable state. I know I am getting better at not having to bring out the big guns to convince anyone I am right but do still  occasionally do it but not with near the intensity I used to. Even so I feel I am more tolerant of others even if   disagree with them but still need work. Thanks Susan you nailed it, now those of you who have put off the natural man for good or at least for a long time help me do the same?

Love Blayne

From: ren and susan carter <>
To: David's Outcasts <>
Date: Saturday, October 23, 1999 9:22 AM
Subject: Re: 888Natural Man--Enemy to God

David's Outcasts -   

Blayne, I am a witness to two years of growth on your part and a lot more of us.   It is fun to watch us evolve.  A co-creator of God commands and it is.  A cute Disney show Halloween Town had a witch saying something rather profound, I thought.   An older witch was teaching a younger one how to do witchcraft:  "You just desire it and let it be true."  Desire coupled with a command works for me.   "I command my highest spiritual self to be in charge of this body."   Something like that may work for you, too.  Susan

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All truth passes through three stages:
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