By Raymond E. Harris

In Titus 1:7, we learn that a self-willed man by his very nature is disqualified from serving as an elder in the Lord’s Church. Peter gave additional warning by writing: “Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock” (1 Pet. 5:3).

Sometimes we hear people trying to excuse their self-willed ways by saying, “It is just human nature to want to have your own way.” We strongly disagree with the foregoing because the Bible says that mankind was made in the image and likeness of deity (Gen. 1:26). The Bible tells us that God is love. And, the Bible is in fact an account of God’s age old struggle to redeem and save rebellious and lost mankind. If God had been self-willed, He would never have allowed Jesus to die for mankind and all would have been lost. The self-willed do not manifest “human nature” but rather Satanic nature.

In our New Testaments, the term self-willed is translated from the Greek word “authades.” The Greek scholar, W.E. Vine, defines the word to mean: “self-pleasing, denotes one who dominated by self-interest, and inconsiderate of others, arrogantly asserts his own will.”

The highly regarded R.C. Trench, in his Synonyms of the New Testament (pp. 326-327) writes of the self-willed: “He is one so far overvaluing any determination at which he has himself once arrived that he will not be removed from it.” Thus, Trench describes the self-willed as “stubborn and obstinate”! He continues his description of the self-willed by saying, “The man thus obstinately maintaining his own opinion, or asserting his own rights . . . is reckless of the rights, feelings and interests of others.”

In 2 Peter 2:9-12, the apostle Peter affirms that God will “reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” He numbers among them to be punished, those that “despise government” (authority or law, R.E.H.), the presumptuous and the self-willed!

Truly, those who practice the “Golden Rule,” love their neighbors as themselves, and regard others as more important than themselves; expose the self-willed, lovers of themselves for what they are agents of the Devil!

Guardian of Truth XXIX: 1, p. 16
January 3, 1985