At first, this concept might feel like a threat to one's self-esteem, but I find it freeing.
I will say, however, it helps to know the original meaning of the word:
de = thoroughly; praved = twisted
After years of fighting guilt because of my imperfections, and feeling I was constantly disappointing those around me (including God), I caught hold of this "wonderful" truth: I am depraved.
An example of this can be observed in the stands of eucalyptus trees in northern California. Some businessmen thought it would be a good idea to transplant these trees from Australia to California for lumber in the growing west.
Unfortunately, moving these fast-growing hardwood trees from their natural habitat to a land where stresses cause the fibers to twist and split, the wood became useless. Though beautiful to look at, they are considered an invasive species.
They are thoroughly twisted.
I was created to be a joyful, trusting, unpolluted child of God, living in The Garden, meant to thrive on His presence. If I ever lived there, I don't anymore.
Living in a polluted world, with a sin nature bent to hold grudges, criticize, and be consumed with attaining my desires, it is no wonder my thoughts and actions disappoint me.
Knowing I am depraved has removed the falsehood that I am good. God said, "There is none good, no not one." Like a dumpster releasing its garbage, the load I carried slid off my back.
Why strive for something impossible to reach in this life?
Of course, this might be depressing if there were not a solution to this depravity. Like a physician who sets a brace around a child's twisted leg, God lovingly applies pressure that transforms His child into a new creation, to become that person He planned from the beginning.
Through His teachings and life's lessons, the Spirit redirects our growth.
Though I long for this goodness, I will not say I am good, just less twisted than when I began this journey.
And it is okay.