Incurvatus In Se

Dec 8, 2022    Don Willeman


Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.

We sometimes have a thin and petty understanding of sin. But sin is anything but thin and petty.

The 5th century Christian leader Augustine (354-430) along with the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546) used a Latin phrase to explain the profoundly problematic nature of sin. They called sin “incurvatus in se”. Sin by its very nature is “deeply curved in on itself…. [Under the corruption of sin, our soul] wickedly, curvedly, and viciously seeks all things…for its own sake” (Luther in his Lectures on Romans, emphasis added).

This means that sin is a radical self-addiction—a deep and abiding self-obsession. It is the very opposite of love as described in 1 Corinthians 13. Thus…
Sin is not patient. It wants what it wants when it wants it.
Sin is not kind. It is cruel, using and running over others.
Sin is jealous. It always feels very insecure.
Sin is arrogant. It’s always full of itself—puffed up with its own perspective and convinced of its own rightness; it is ready to explode at the slightest injustice or irritation.
Sin is self-seeking.
Sin is bitter, keeping track and nurturing every hurt and wrong. It is in a constant state of self-pity.
Sin is easily provoked. It takes everything very personally.
Sin rejoices in unrighteousness. It finds its pleasure in the pursuit of raw desire and refuses to be restrained with consideration of others, especially God. It says, “No one’s gonna tell me what to do. I live by my own rules.”
Sin refuses to endure suffering. The sinful self is far too precious to be spent on anyone but itself, especially anyone who it deems to be “wrong”.

Sin is obsessed with self; it’s curved in on itself. But Love is willing to suffer for others; it is willing to liquidate its life for the good of others. Indeed, this is what the embodiment of love—Jesus Christ—did for us on the cross.

Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”

~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (ESV)