Proverbs 22:15 (ESV)
 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Over the past couple years I have read books by three different authors all painting slightly different pictures of a dystopian future. Each series of books were written with a teen audience in mind, so it is not surprising that in each case the hero was a teenager. In fact, in each series of books a teenaged girl was the unintended heroine. In each case the heroine found leadership thrust upon her in some way. In each book series the primary antagonist was the greed of corporate or governmental leaders. This greed was usually focused in one man, but permeated the system. In contrast it was the natural goodness and naivety of the heroine that ultimately drove her.
When we look down at a newborn we tend to think of unsoiled innocence. The logical next step is to believe that it is the evil of the world that soils the innocence of the child. If that is true then all that is required to retain their innocence is to keep a child isolated from the world. But Proverbs 22:15 tells us that folly is not thrust upon a child from the outside. Folly is bound up in the heart of a child. In our current dystopian stories there is an innocence in children that will ultimately save the world. In the 1954 dystopian novel Lord of the Flies all of the greed, violence and selfishness of the world was quickly discovered to reside in children as well. The author had a very different view of the nature of man than these current authors seem to possess. It is interesting, however, that in one of the book series I read the main character at one point realizes that in even the best people there resides evil. That is as close to a biblical perspective as one can come.
When Adam ate the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil he set us up with an inclination to sin. Natural tendencies, urges and desires are not, therefore, a thing to pursue. Each of us is born with a bent toward sin. Accepting that bent as normal, natural and good does not make us good. Redefining morality to fit our natural inclinations does not make us moral. It just buys into the lies that naturally accompany a nature bent to sin. And so we come back to Proverbs. "Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him." Ultimately ever individual needs to face their own fallen condition and cry out for forgiveness. It is the cross of Christ that provides the means to forgiveness and a new heart. We begin with discipline which leads to grace and mercy. Folly is bound up in the heart of a child.
Father, thank you for your gracious love which sent your Son to die in my place. I rest in your grace and mercy. Open the hearts of each generation to see their need for a savior and to find life in you by your grace through simple faith Christ.
By His grace,