The 7 tendencies of the sinful heart

In Ephesians 4:19-32 Paul reveals 7 tendencies of the sinful heart. Such are “damaging to relationships, disruptive of God’s purpose, and require persistent battling.”


1. Tendency toward self-indulgence

They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ! – assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. [Ephesians 4:19-24]


2. Tendency toward deceit

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. [Ephesians 4:25]


3. Tendency toward anger

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. [Ephesians 4:26-27]


4. Tendency toward selfishness

Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. [Ephesians 4:28]


5. Tendency toward unhelpful communication

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. [Ephesians 4:29-30]


6. Tendency toward division

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. [Ephesians 4:31]


7. Tendency toward an unforgiving spirt

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. [Ephesian 4:32]



Adapted from Change and your relationships by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp (publisher: New Growth Press)






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