“I do what I hate, and I don’t do what I know is right or what I want to do. O wretched woman am I!”
I had a rough weekend as described by my paraphrase of Paul’s words in Romans 7. Nothing catastrophic, just lots of little things. By the end of the weekend, I felt disgusted with myself.
As I drove to Raleigh on Monday, I pondered over the weekend – my selfishness, loss of temper, and unkindness – and the guilt I felt over it. After having a week of being so FULL of the spirit, I had a weekend full of stinky flesh...
On the way home from church I was starving. I walked in the door to, “Would you like some breakfast? I can fix it for you now” from my sweet father. “No, I don’t have time, I’ll just grab something.” It sounded good, but I had a ‘tude and refused to receive.
Family came to visit. A few conversations and events that happened – and some that didn’t – showed me I wasn’t thinking of others but of myself.
I lost my patience with Don and my parents…for no reason.
Despite a long car ride with God on Monday morning, no change. At the end of a difficult phone meeting with a vendor Monday afternoon, my manager asked, “Wow, what happened over the weekend? You were hard during that conversation.” He clarified, “No, not mean or rude, not necessarily bad; just, well, hard…not yourself.”
I knew it, I could feel it…but I didn’t know what to do about it. This morning, asked for and chose to receive forgiveness for my selfishness, unkindness, and wrong attitudes, event by event. I felt my heart start to soften.
Yet…how I can be two different people? How can I stop this Jekyll and Hyde syndrome? I've been walking with the Lord for a long time, how can I still be like this? Frustrated, I cried out to God through tears.
“How can I be a better person? I can’t believe I’m so selfish. I NEED YOU!”
You’re right, you do need Me. It’s not about trying to make yourself a better person, it’s about being full of Me. Come to Me when you mess up and I’ll forgive you. Then move on. Keep your focus on Me, not on anything about yourself.
God’s still, small voice shattered the walls I built around my heart. I remembered the rest of the story from Paul in Romans 7:24b-25a:
As I continued to ponder and pray, I realized:
- Receiving God’s forgiveness is a choice
- When we receive it, we can walk free of guilt; again, a choice
- Our hearts can get hard if we try to reason our guilt away
Most of all, I realized what was missing: quiet time with God over the weekend. I was too busy.
How can I be a better person? More of Jesus every day.
Today is a new day; I *will* rejoice in it…and be glad for my Savior that never lets me go.
Will you join me?