Jas 1:14-15 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. (15) Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
We are able to see from these Words from God Himself that sin is like a living thing. And that it develops if allowed to do so. Desire – Conception – birth – Growth – death of the sinner. James’ intent is to give us sober warning. Do not permit sin to grow. Put it to death by the Spirit before it can even be conceived in us, let alone, born.
Sin grows. It develops. I think we can rightly conclude this from James’ words. Sin, when it is fully grown…
I point this out because I suspect that many of us have wondered – was the reviler/abuser/sociopath/narcissist who did me so much harm, always who he is now? We know that we are all born into this world in sin, sinners by nature, fallen creatures who are dead to God. But we do not all become narcissists who we know and…do not love.
I would suggest that the RASN (pronounced “raisin,” see the bold list above for the words behind this acronym) started his or her journey in evil at some point with a seed. Who planted the seed or why was it planted? We normally cannot answer these questions. But somehow, sometime, a sin-seed was sown by a type of resolve – “No one will ever shame me again.” “I will be superior to everyone else.” “I deserve.” And then, instead of repenting of that wicked seed and rooting it out so that it died, it was cultivated. It was a permitted sinful desire cherished in the mind and heart.
And it grew, and grew, and grew.
Until finally, it was born.
What emerged in this diabolic birth? Sin. Full-grown sin. The seed, the desire, became that RASN who causes its target grief and torment.
This pattern, in my opinion, this desire – birth – growth, is what we see in so many people. Perhaps in earlier years the reason you didn’t see the narcissism is because it was only present in seed form, but it had been planted and over the years it grew and grew and grew. [I hope we all see here the vital need for Godly discipline by parents toward their children]. So that finally, fully grown, that self-entitled cruel arrogance fully engulfs the one in whom it was conceived.
Was my abuser always conspiring against me? Was he from the very start seeing me as just a supply whose purpose was to feed his self-glorying? Or was this horrid thing we call pride present in him as a seed, growing and growing and growing until….?
To such questions I suppose no one can always provide a certain answer. But I do know that we must watch ourselves and watch our children and watch one another in the body of Christ so that when we see a seed of sin planted, just beginning to sprout, we put it to death by the Spirit long before it can grow and bear fruit and give birth to – here is the ironic thing – before it can be born and produce death.