“I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.” (Romans 7:18b-19, New Living Translation)
Those words that Paul wrote have always surprised me because Paul was so extremely disciplined, focused and holy. I have trouble imagining him choosing to do what was “wrong” or having any real spiritual struggles. I also realize, however, that we sometimes look at other people and think that they are completely “together”…that they can’t possibly have any real spiritual problems or that they would never know what was “right” but choose what was wrong. Truthfully, though, when we look at other people that way we strip them of their humanity. Paul, though he loved God and, according to his own words, loved God’s law, had the same struggles we all have. He wrote that his natural tendency was to sin, because the law of sin lived in him. Because of that he called himself “wretched” or “miserable”. He was not, however, hopeless. The law of sin lived in him (as it does in all of us) but the power of Christ was stronger. “Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7:24-25a, New Living Translation)
The power of Jesus Christ will always be stronger than the power of sin living in us, but we have to choose which power we want in our lives. We can choose our own wills or we can choose Christ, but we cannot choose both.
Blessings on you…Leigh Ann