Day 1 - What’s Wrong with Me?
It’s a pretty common feeling – you know you ought to have done something, but you didn’t. Or you knew you shouldn’t have done something, but you did it anyway. And when this happens, you feel guilty, often wondering why on earth you acted the way you did. Sometimes it involves going back to the person you wronged, apologising, and sometimes even making restitution.
For Christians, it can be even more frustrating, because we really know we shouldn’t behave certain ways. But all too often, we look back and realise we have. And then we ask, “What’s wrong with me?” But maybe the problem is that we don’t know what the problem really is.
The Apostle Paul it this way: “I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway… I love God’s law with all my heart. 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. Oh, what a miserable person I am! In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin” (Rom 7:18, 19, 22-24, 25).
In this passage, Paul talks about what it’s like to try to live a godly life through the law – a list of “do’s and don’t’s.” If we simply try to do right (or try not to do wrong), we will fail. We don’t have enough willpower – no one does.
Paul, however, puts his finger on the real problem in v 25: “…because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.” The problem isn’t lack of self-control or bad intentions. It goes deeper than that – much deeper. First of all, for people who are not Christians, living a godly life is impossible. They actually have sin (not the act, but a nature) in the core of their being. It is part of their very identity, and so their life flows from that nature.
But what about Christians? Well, people who have truly been regenerated (born again), have a new nature on the inside. 2Cor 5:17 says, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” And yet, they also can experience failure in “doing what’s right.” This is because our flesh, mind and body still have sinful tendencies in them.
So are we doomed to failure? Thank God, no – but the solution is not in simple willpower, 12 steps or a positive attitude. The solution is a person. Rom 7:24-25: Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
We can’t fix us, but He can!
When you have asked yourself, “what’s wrong with me?” have you ever realised sin was the problem?