Fixing buggy human hardware

2020 Apr 12

Our pastor had a great illustration from the tech world in today’s Sunday message:

  • Being human is like owning a tech device with buggy hardware.

We may have had the experience of buying an electronic device that did not work correctly because it had a defect in the hardware. We might be able to sometimes avoid the problem by carefully using the device, however this could never make the problem go completely away. The maker might push out minor updates to the software, and these patches might make the issue seem a bit better. However, the patches wouldn’t make the problem go away. The hardware still would be trouble to us.

Then later the maker came out with a brand new version of software for our hardware. After we installed the new software, the problem we had continuously lived with was gone! We might keep worrying about the old problem re-appearing, but no, it works OK. Of course we could still choose to use our device in a wrong way and make a problem, however we are no longer forced to live with the old issue any more. The brand new software fixes the defective old hardware! It’s such an unexpected gift and a real relief.

We are like that defective device.

Originally we were defective because we were naturally selfish and exploited others. This makes trouble in relationships with other people. There had been minor updates for us humans in the form of rules for living: we shouldn’t kill or steal or covet, etc. We might avoid the killing or stealing by careful behavior, but the coveting would repeatedly remind us that were still broken. Maybe we could hide our defective self from others some of the time, but we knew the defect was always there in us.

But then God came with his central value of sacrificial love for the benefit of others and offered to install it as new software into our heart and mind. With this new value system installed, our desires and therefore our behaviors were able to change. This new software has the power to re-wire our mind and our brain, and so then it becomes natural to live differently in our body. It can become natural for us to love like Jesus.

The gospel (the good news of the Kingdom of God) is this new version of software for humans. With this new version, God fixes our buggy hardware.


The value system perspective used here is based on ideas from the work of Darren Twa.