Ever feel like no matter what you do, and no matter how you try you just can’t get it right? Does this sound like you at times:
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? –Romans 7: 15-24
That next-to-last sentence sometimes fills my mind; “what a wretched man I am!” Well, maybe not those exact words, because after all, it is 2011 and I am a woman, but, similar ideas. “I am such a screw-up.” “Could I have messed that up any worse?” “I am so not getting this ‘following Christ’ thing the way I should be.” “Why don’t I do more?” The list could go on an on. So as I read this passage one night last week before bed, that’s where I landed. In that, “I get what you’re talking about, Paul. I’m right there with you,” kind of place. I acknowledged that I fall short. And then I went to sleep.
Then the next night I read this:
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus –Romans 8:1
And I was reminded of grace. I’m gonna mess up. I’m gonna fall short. But because of Christ and His sacrifice for me, I have grace, and I have power, and I have NO CONDEMNATION when my actions don’t line up with what I say I believe or what I strive for. That doesn’t give me freedom to go out and screw up on purpose, but it does give me forgiveness when I am not perfect. And the Lord knows that I am far from perfect (but don’t tell my kids and husband that! 🙂 ).
So rest in the arms of grace today and don’t let yourself be brought down by condemnation that isn’t there.