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Traits of the Carnal Mind | Elmer E. Shelhamer

A Checklist

  • Do I become provoked and kick the cat or dog, slap the children in anger, or speak snappish to my loved ones?
  • Do I go up the miff tree when slighted, imposed upon, or rebuked? What am I like when taken to task by one in authority; when not put first; when not appreciated; when others are advanced over me? Do I ever have the pouts? The sulks?
  • How do I react when I cannot have my own way, or when others do better than I?
  • Is the praise of men sweet to my taste? Do I love to have my name head the list? Do I enjoy being flattered; being at the head of things? Am I gentle toward all men?
  • Down in the depths of my heart (though I may not say a word) do I feel the stirrings of anger? Of envy? Of jealousy? Of revenge? Of bitterness?
  • Do I enjoy having the best chair, the best apple in the dish, the best piece of pie on the plate—when others have what is left? Do I seek the easiest and most congenial tasks?

These are some of the traits which generally indicate a carnal heart. If one principle is lurking there, others may be also. Through prayer, confession and faith, hold your heart open to the searching light of God and ask the Holy Ghost to enable you to bring your “old man” to the death: “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed [not suppressed], that henceforth we should not serve sin.”* (Romans 6:6) Do not patch over, but go to the bottom. It will pay.