“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.”
– Romans 5:17
Regardless of your sin, don’t you often find yourself thinking these same sentiments that Paul wrote thousands of years ago? It can be as simple as eating that extra piece of chocolate. I know it goes:
“No. I can’t have that.”
“But it looks so good.”
“Nope, can’t do it.”
“But it’s just one piece.”
“Oh, okay, one piece won’t hurt.”
Even when we know we’re supposed to be feeding ourselves the good stuff, we continue to fill ourselves with the bad. And what really gets us is when it’s really not that bad. So we give ourselves the excuse that it’s just this once. It won’t be that bad. We won’t do it again. But then we do, and we’re back to the same vicious cycle over and over again.
Do you ever feel that way?
What about when you’re driving down the road and you find someone with a flat tire? You want to stop to help him or make sure he’s getting help. But you might be too busy. Or scared. You want to do what is right, but instead you do what you might hate by passing him by.
Does this make us ultimately bad people? Does this make us bad Christians? No, it doesn’t. You may believe that because you fall into sin, you’re a bad person or a bad Christian. But our problem is really that we’re human, and we’re imperfect. There was only one perfect person, and that was Jesus. The difference in overcoming sin and allowing it to conquer us is having that tug from the Holy Spirit that you know what you’re doing is wrong.
Paul goes on to say that “if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good.” In other words, I know what I’m doing is wrong because I believe and trust in God’s commands, and I recognize it. He says, “So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.” It is the fleshly part of you–the human–that sins. I don’t think this means that sin doesn’t count if we don’t know it’s wrong. This doesn’t mean that it’s okay to sin if we know it’s wrong.
The next step after sinning (and realizing that what we are doing/have done is wrong) is to run to Jesus. Paul says, “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.”
Naturally we’re slaves to sin. But Jesus Christ conquered sin and death when He died on the cross for us. So no matter the sin, no matter or wrong, we run to Him. Confess your sin to Him and allow Him to help you overcome it. You’ll still fall from time to time, because you’re human. But know that just because you sin doesn’t mean you can’t become a new person.
Run to Jesus.