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“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15 NIV) 

We all do what we don’t want to do.  Even Paul struggled with this predicament.  Jesus is the only one who didn’t.  The definition for humanity should include imperfection.  

How many times a day do you do something you didn’t want to do, but for some reason, you just can’t help yourself?  

Food is a great example.  I open the refrigerator door, instead of eating the apple I eat the pudding.  When I look in the pantry, instead of opting for a handful of nuts, I choose a handful of tortilla chips…with queso.  I know, at that moment, I’m making the wrong decision, yet I do it anyway. Why?

Paul explains:

As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.  For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  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. 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. (Romans 7:17-20 NIV)

Everyone struggles with sin.

My ongoing battle with gluttony, habitual greed or excess in eating, is evident on the scale.  Sometimes I’m winning the battle and the number goes down, some days I’m losing, the number goes up.  I lead an active lifestyle. My problem isn’t exercise, my problem is eating.  I enlist accountability partners, I track calories, yet the battle rages.  I’ve accepted that this is my thorn in my side:

“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7 NIV)

Paul talks about the thorn in his flesh in his letter to the Corinthians.  Three times he prays and asks God to remove it, yet He doesn’t.  Paul accepts the thorn as part of his life which helps him stay humble.

Whatever sin we struggle with, God uses it the same way in our life. Pride rears its ugly head with little provocation.  We don’t need much to become conceited.  I hit one good shot in golf and I think I’m a professional.  The very next shot reminds me, I’m not. 

God knows our struggles will remain while we’re on this side of heaven.  We may not understand, but He does.   And He loves us anyway.

Question of the Day:

What thorn do you have in your side?

Further Reading:2 Chronicles 6:12-8:10 NIV, Romans 7:14-8:8 NIV, Psalm 18:1-15  NIV, Proverbs 19:24-25 NIV

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