Tuesday, January 1, 2008

What happens to my resolutions?

Romans 7:13-25 (The Message)

13I can already hear your next question: "Does that mean I can't even trust what is good [that is, the law]? Is good just as dangerous as evil?" No again! Sin simply did what sin is so famous for doing: using the good as a cover to tempt me to do what would finally destroy me. By hiding within God's good commandment, sin did far more mischief than it could ever have accomplished on its own.

14-16I can anticipate the response that is coming: "I know that all God's commands are spiritual, but I'm not. Isn't this also your experience?" Yes. I'm full of myself—after all, I've spent a long time in sin's prison. What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary.

17-20But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

21-23It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

24I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?

25The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

I said something at work that could get me fired. I was being flip and certainly didn't MEAN any harm, but it was in very poor judgement. Very very poor judgement. (whacks self on head)

As a distant friend told me on the phone tonight,"You will make mistakes at work."

I have missed the mark so many times. I will miss the mark over and over again. I need a Savior to set things right.

Here's a PS. I am listening to John Piper speaking about these verses. I've made a link to part 2 of the 3 part series. I'm so glad to have a holiday to put time into this. I think it's important.


MissDaisyAnne said...

hello, shame on me I had a wrong website address for you on my blog, I think I've fixed it now. Thank you for your post. I'm off to read!

Christopher said...

Thanks for sharing your views and struggles with your "old self", your candor is refreshing (not delighting in other's failings) in that it reminds me that I'm not the only one being constantly tripped up.

Grace and peace be with you.

cathy b. said...

Thank you for your comments. Reminding me we're in this together.

Piper described our sinful self so well ... and without holding back (much like his beloved Jonathan Edwards). I didn't see myself as a sinner until I tried to go a day without sinning, an hour, ... five minutes without an arrogant thought, a glutonous impulse ... Once I see myself as a sinner, I know I need help.