To corrupt means to decay. The Latin equivalent means to destroy. Man has been given by his Creator a free will and the capacity to choose. Now, we all make many choices every day, most of them of relatively minor importance. However, it’s important to realize that individual choices build upon one another establishing patterns of thought and habitual behaviors.
Proverbs 1 states that wisdom cries out to man to choose to heed God’s reproof rather than despise it. To reject God’s counsel in favor of our personal feelings or our own will is courting with destruction, whereas embracing His wisdom is definitely beneficial. It must be clearly understood that man’s corruption is the result of one’s choices. Scripture tells us: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who shows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Thus, either life or corruption is determined by the seed sown in our hearts, and our repeated choices to act upon it.
If we look at what the Holy Spirit revealed to the apostle Paul about the works of the flesh we see a list of actions and attitudes that corrupt lives, families, churches, and nations. When you examine that list do you think of some of these things as being “worse” than others? Saints, all of them cause corruption. Why? Because they are not of God’s Spirit and they “miss the mark” of His perfection. That’s why He labels them as “sin”, and “the wages of sin is death”. To be “in the flesh” is to be carnal and destructive, in reality putting ourselves at enmity with God. In contrast, God desires that we walk in His Spirit, bearing divine fruit11 as evidence of His life within us.
May the Lord grant us a fresh hunger and thirst for Him. May He cause us to be vessels for honor, sanctified for His use, and prepared for every good work. Remember, what we choose to flee from or follow is important. In fact, it is a matter of life or death.