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Daily Reading: 2 Chronicles 6:12-8:10 ESV, Romans 7:14-8:8 ESV, Psalm 18:1-15 ESV,

Proverbs 19:24-25 ESV

Daily Verse: “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15 ESV)

MISEO (3404): “Basically means having a relative preference for one thing over another by way of expressing either aversion from, or disregard for, the claims of one person or thing relatively to those of another.  It may work itself in strong emotion, but not necessarily.  Said of wrongdoing Rom 7:5.”[i]

Relative preference.

Hate, a strong aversion to someone or thing, a powerful emotion that, left unchecked, causes unbelievable damage and requires work to control.  Everyone has feelings of hatred at some point or another; what you do with those feelings matters most.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul hates that he does things he knows he shouldn’t nor wants to do.  Welcome to the world of sinful nature; we can all relate to falling short of the expectations we place on ourselves.

Why do we do what we don’t want to do?  Battling the flesh began long ago, and until Jesus returns, it will continue.  Everyone shares the same struggle.

Repeated grace.

Do your best to honor God and fulfill His will for your life.  And when you falter, give yourself grace.  Paul would get the Most Valuable Player trophy for his efforts spreading the good news of Jesus if such a trophy existed, yet he still battled his sinful nature.  Only Jesus succeeded in doing what none of us can live a sinless life.

Repeatedly giving myself grace requires work.  Coaching myself through my sinful mistakes requires God’s word, Jesus’s sacrifice, and intentional forgiveness.

Reading God’s word reveals the areas I need forgiveness in both action and thought.  Thinking about Jesus and His actions on the cross reminds me that He’s already forgiven me.  Now, I must intentionally forgive myself for whatever sin I’ve committed.  And then I start again on the journey, trying to go and “sin no more.”  When I inevitably fall, I repeat the process.

God’s grace forgives the moment we confess, don’t hold onto what God absolves.  Give yourself grace, repeatedly, just like Jesus does.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 165) Thomas Nelson

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