July 3

Romans 7:15-25a

“Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” vs. 24-25a

Paul had gotten caught up in what we might call dualistic thinking and it was driving him crazy. He describes himself as being caught between the law of God, which was what he wanted to do, and the law of sin, which dictated his actions. When he wanted to do good he would do evil, and the evil he didn’t want to do is what he ended up doing. Many of us can identify with his dilemma–it happens again and again in our lives. We simply can’t seem to live the perfect life that we want so badly for ourselves and for those we love. If we didn’t care, it would be no big deal. Some folks are like that. They don’t even try to lead moral and decent lives–following the impulses of fleshly desires is just fine with them, and their consciences don’t seem to be the least bit troubled. But those who take discipleship seriously and who want to walk in the way of Jesus know that actions are important, and like Paul, they feel wretched when they don’t measure up. Is there any way to avoid the frustration? Paul found the way–and it didn’t involve any action on his part at all. He simply stopped thinking dualistically and turned his whole self over to God. It worked! And it works for us too. Of course we won’t be perfect, but we are perfectly forgiven–and that’s what gives us peace!

Thought for the Day: What frustrates me most about myself?

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