Romans 7:15~ 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.
Ever disappoint someone you truly care about? I just lived Paul’s sentiment about doing the opposite of what I want to do. Having completed a Bible study on controlling the tongue less than two weeks ago, I recently did the opposite of what I encouraged myself and others to do. It’s maddening! How could I be so thoughtless, so selfish and so impatient that I could not hold my tongue and think for two seconds before saying things I shouldn’t?
But I was and I didn’t and my words hurt someone I care about. Words and actions can be forgiven, but forgotten is more difficult. They burn holes in our hearts and minds. Asking for forgiveness from whom I offended and from God, I know I am forgiven by both. But I cannot unsay the words.
Finding peace in being forgiven, I now begin the process of rebuilding trust and undoing the disappointment created. Understanding this situation will build endurance and make us stronger doesn’t ease or erase the sting of my words. But I press on like Paul encourages, to be who God created me to be. I will attempt more patience and selflessness while controlling my tongue. But I cannot do any of it on my own.
As Paul continues in Romans 7 and 8:
21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 8~ So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.
5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
I need to let go and allow God’s Spirit to work within me. Doing this, I am led to His ways, words and actions and not my own. But just as unwanted words quickly slid out of my mouth the other day, sin can swiftly overtake us. The daily battle against sin can only be won by seeking God first, trusting and walking in His ways. It requires continuous diligence, prayer and effort. And sometimes I clearly lack all of those. But surrendering to Him, all things are possible.
Letting go and letting God work within me and this situation is how I will move forward. Trusting in Him to work all things out for good, according to His purpose is my action plan. I am more determined than ever to use my words to encourage, not discourage; to build up, not tear down. And I can do this only through Christ who lives within and strengthens me.
Need encouragement or prayer? Comment below or let’s connect and pray for each other for Christ to work in all of us.