What is it exactly that you do? What you want or what you hate?
“What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate… For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.” -Romans 7:15-19 NAB
That verse was a bit of a tongue-twister, but the message is solid. Put more simply, Paul wants to do good, but he is upset with himself for doing evil instead. Even Paul, one of the most important influences on the Church, struggled with sin and shame.
Paul is speaking to the Romans, and to us, about the reality of our sinful life. We all hope to do better. Our intention is to be good Christians. Unfortunately, we fall short of the mark. We aim for the sky, but we can barely get off the ground. If someone like Paul struggled with this, then there is a good chance that we are going to struggle with it as well.
Like Paul, it will not take us long to see our shortcomings, but we cannot wallow in them. Paul recognized the sin in his life, but then he turned to the one place he could find forgiveness – through our Lord, Jesus Christ. We must do the same. Once we do, the next and most important step is that we need to accept that forgiveness.
We cannot turn to Christ, but hold onto the guilt that comes with our sin. Over the past few days, we have read a number of scriptures that talk about sin – its damaging effects, how to avoid it, how it relates to the Law, and so on. This step, how to accept forgiveness for our sins, is the most important thing we will ever learn about it.
It’s time to move on. Christ can forgive you for what you’ve done, but you have to be willing to accept it. The past is the past, so let it go. Today is a brand new day.