Bildad in Job 26 likens humans to maggots and worms. The wretched extent of the depravity of the human soul is one of the primary themes in Job, and I’ve encountered it elsewhere recently, too. It strikes a wrong chord with me.
Despite the Fall, the consequences of which are original sin and a universe in entropy, human beings are made in the image of God. Only in a spirit of repentance and contrition would I consider using terms like maggot or worm—figuratively. But in reality, the body is a gift, in divine image. The soul is a gift, eternal. The mind and heart are gifts, the ability to reason and think and feel beyond the capabilities of animals.
No, we are not perfect. No, we are not righteous by our own means. But we are human. We are not maggots or worms in God’s sight. There are those who by their choices have let their souls rot in their selfishness and pride. There are those who do vile and evil things. Does this mean that every human being has a heart as black as theirs? No. We are varying shades of gray, each with the potential to do good and evil.
I recognize that the Book of Job is pre-Abrahamic and definitely pre-Christ. I also recognize that I am a humanist influenced by the 18th century Enlightenment. What concerns me is that this line of thought is still very extant in Christian circles. Yes, humans are imperfect, but I am unwilling to agree with the belief that we are wretched, totally depraved, less than dirt maggots, especially as a believing Christian who has been and continues to be made righteous in the sight of God. Christian or not, such a debased view of the human condition shows ingratitude to God for the body, soul, mind, life, and world he has given us. Moreover, as a Christian, such a view is ungrateful for the salvation we have received and the life we now have.