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Traits of the Carnal Mind | Elmer E. Shelhamer

Symptoms of Carnality

The following are some of the symptoms of carnality. Reader, the Holy Spirit alone can interpret and apply this tract to your individual case. As you read, examine yourself, as if in the presence of God.

Do you ever feel:

l. A secret sense of pride; an exalted feeling in view of your success or your position; because of your good training and appearance; because of your natural gifts and abilities; an important, independent spirit; stiffness and preciseness?

2. Love of human praise; a secret fondness to be noticed; love of supremacy; drawing attention to self in conversation; a swelling out of self when you have had a free time speaking or praying?

3. The stirrings of anger or impatience—but worst of all you call it nervousness or holy indignation; a touchy, sensitive spirit; a disposition to resent and retaliate when reproved or contradicted: sharp, heated flings at one another?

4. Self-will: a stubborn, unteachable spirit; an arguing, talkative spirit; harsh, sarcastic expressions; an unyielding, head-strong attitude; a driving, commanding spirit; a disposition that loves to be coaxed and humored?

5. Carnal fear: a man-fearing spirit; a shrinking from reproach and duty; reasoning around the cross; a shrinking from doing your whole duty by those of wealth or position, a fearfulness that someone will get out of the Spirit and thus offend and drive some prominent person away; a compromising, holding-back tendency?

6. A jealous disposition; a secret spirit of envy shut up in your heart; an unpleasant sensation in view of the great prosperity and success of another; a disposition to speak of the faults and failings, rather than the gifts and virtues of those more talented and appreciated than yourself?

7. Lustful stirrings; unholy actions; a carnal yearning; undue affection and familiarity toward those of the opposite sex; wandering eyes; something in you that could not be trusted if sufficient opportunity presented itself?

8. A dishonest, deceitful disposition; evading and covering the truth, covering up your real faults; leaving a better impression of yourself than is strictly true; false humility; exaggeration; straining the truth?

9. Unbelief; a spirit of discouragement in times of pressure and opposition, lack of quietness and confidence in God, lack of faith and trust in God; a disposition to worry and complain in the midst of pain, poverty, or at the dispensations of Divine Providence; an over-anxious feeling whether everything will come out all right?

10. Formality and deadness; lack of concern for lost souls; dryness and indifference; lack of power with God; selfishness, love of ease; love of money?

11. Stinginess; being over-exacting with trifles; falling out with others over a few apples, chickens, or pigs; giving just enough to ease my conscience, and less than a poor laborer does for the furtherance of the Gospel at home or abroad; big meals when away from home, but cheap ones for wife and children who seldom get out?

12. Sectarianism; being narrow and bigoted in favor of my little crowd, cool and unlovely toward others who differ with me; ready to argue and take the contrary side instead of studiously avoiding those things that might break sweet fellowship; pulling to get members, even though I steal them from another congregation; sitting back with a critical and over-wise air, and failing to cooperate with others for the salvation of souls.