“I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. 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. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it” (Romans 7: 15-20).
Wow, how many of us not only understand Paul, but can relate to what he’s saying? Paul is painting a picture of what our inner battles can look like at times. We want to do the right thing but end up doing the very thing we don’t want to do. Have you ever had a ‘Romans 7 Paul moment’?
You didn’t want to yell at your children, but you’ve somehow used up all the ‘batch of grace’ allotted to them for that day (slight joke here)? You didn’t have to have the last say, but had such a “good” comeback that you couldn’t help yourself? You knew that staying patient while the store clerk was learning how to run the register was the right thing to do, but you couldn’t help but have a slight ‘attitude’ because it took longer than you wanted? You were rude to the co-worker who is always mean to you, but you knew you should walk in the love of Christ. These are just a few examples of having a ‘Romans 7 Paul moment’. No condemnation here at all, we all fall short of the glory of God, BUT there is hope for us all.
Paul gives us some insight as to the ‘why’ of these moments in our lives. It is our sin nature doing the very thing we don’t want to do. So, how can we overcome this cycle of self-sabotage that lives within us? Paul also provides the answer for this a few scriptures further down.
“Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 7:25). Paul is clearly grieved by this cycle of inner uproar, but we have a savior who loves to save us from ourselves. You see, Jesus is the antidote to every cycle of sin in our lives. God never called us to be perfect and without blemish, but he made a way for us to call on the only name that can save, the only name above all names, the name of Jesus.
For you see, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor – sick people do…For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners” (Matt. 9:12-13).
Recommended Reading: Matthew 9:9-13, Romans 7:7-25
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I am completely enveloped in your love and grace over my life. Thank you for sending Jesus, the savior of the world, to rescue me from my life of sin. I know I am a sinner needing a savior and I so humbly accept being saved from my cycle of self-sabotage. I surrender to your mighty name. Thank God, the answer is Jesus Christ! Amen!