"An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked..." Psalm 36:1 How does one define wickedness? Are there degrees of wickedness? What comes to mind might be murder, rape, theft - and indeed those are works of wickedness. But those are the symptoms, not the malignancy. The Word of God defines wickedness this way: vs 1: "There is no fear of God before his eyes…" This is the root and very essence of wickedness, the man who has no fear of God. He is his own lord. He governs his life according to his own will. He insists: "I'll do it MY way." vs 2: "he flatters himself in his own eyes, when he finds out his iniquity…" He flatters himself and justfies his iniquity. vs 3: "The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit…" Without realizing it, because he does not think of spiritual things, he follows his father the devil whom Jesus said is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44) vs 4: "He devises wickedness on his bed ...he does not abhor evil." He conjures up in his mind the plots and plans through which he will achieve his goals, without regard to whom he hurts in the process. Refusing the Word of God, the Bible, is wickedness, and it will take one to hell. One cannot serve self and Satan and then think they will go with Jesus when they die. The righteous are of a totally different kind. The healthy fear of the Lord is embedded in their hearts. They love above all else the Word of God. They are not wise in their own eyes. They are happy to surrender their lives to the God who created them and to his plan for them, understanding that it’s vitally important to walk out God’s plan in their lives and so - they willingly submit all their ways to him. They do not flatter themselves in their hearts, because the Spirit of God has shown them the depravity of the human heart (Jeremiah 17:9) and they are always aware of it. They hate evil and cling to good. The words of their mouth are truth. There is no hatred in them, it has been replaced with love, and this can only be the case in those who have been born-again. It is natural to man to hate. The only remedy is receiving the Spirit of God when they are born again. These will go with Jesus when they die, for he has been the love of their lives. If you flatter yourself that you are "good," you're deceived, because the Word of God says you are not: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked..." Jeremiah 17:9 and: “There is none righteous, no, not one;" Romans 3:10 The righteous are not righteous in themselves, they are the wicked who have turned to the Lord for salvation and they have imputed righteousness in him. They have realized their sinfulness and have confessed that to him, and have been willing to surrender themselves and their entire lives to him. The Lord has received them and granted that they be born again. That experience has changed them. Bit by bit the old nature dies and is replaced with goodness. It is a lifelong process beginning as all births do, in infancy, in being born again as an infant, and progressing ever so slowly as growth does in a growing child, leading to maturity in righteousness. These are they who lay on their beds and think on how they can serve him. These are they who love. Of which kind are you? If you're honest with yourself you'll be very careful how you answer this.