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Pure Spite

I recently read an article saying only Christians, among all followers of all religions, begin with the premise humans are inherently evil and flawed. This I knew, but the authors went on to say the Fall itself could be boiled down to an act of pure spite. Satan knew he was doomed, and he wanted to take us down with him. That left him a single course of action: make our first parents sin at all costs, make them share in his fate of damnation, not because they had done anything against him, but because he spitefully wanted to hurt as many as possible.

That was a new idea for me. Usually I avoid probing into the motives of Satan beyond "he's evil incarnate." But this also made me stop and think about how we, men and women created in the image of God, also reflect that sort of spiteful attitude. I'm certainly not immune to it. I was at a friend's house with several others after my senior prom, and the game was Monopoly. My partner and I decided to block the game: we bought one of every color property (and railroad) on the board so no one could do anything to actually play (and therefore win) the game. Why did we do it? Spite. A way to laugh at the others and say, "Look what we did to you!" (We still lost, by the way.)

A spiteful game of Monopoly is one thing, but we're often far more vindictive with our spite. People who tailgate us or cut us off in traffic, people who pull a prank on us at work, and people we just plain don't like often suffer at our hands simply because we can make them hurt. It's a misuse of power, a lack of love, and, honestly, a sin against God whose image they bear. It's not how God made us to be; it's a result of our fallen nature, itself the product of disbelief in the word and character of God enticed by that first act of spite.

We're better than that -- especially those of us who know Christ as Lord and Savior. Let us serve one another -- not spite each other. Remember: they will know us by our love.

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