How come I do the things I don’t want to do and don’t do the
things I do want to do? A question asked a few thousand years ago by someone I deeply respect and admire, the Apostle Paul. This same question is still being asked often today. So what’s the answer to this puzzling question and how can we stop doing the things we don’t want to do? We could talk a lot about self will, sanctification and discipleship, or asking others to help, and all these would be valid. Yet the answer is a lot simpler than that. The problem is something that is always at work in all of us. The bible tells us that all of us have sinned and this causes us to fall short of God's standards for our lives. Paul also calls it rebellion always carrying on deep below the surface of our humanity. It’s an age old dilemma that goes all the way back to the first man Adam, who couldn’t balance a simple choice to eat from a tree that would bring death or from another tree that would bring life. The real problem is in our gene code unfortunately and this problem has followed mankind mercilessly throughout human history. Paul put it like this… “in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different”. Life can be a struggle of contradictions and the greatest of those contradictions are within us. So what’s the answer to this dilemma? Unfortunately maybe none that is within us, but thanks to God there’s one that comes from outside of us. Paul said the Answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does help us. He acted to set the things that are wrong, right in this life of contradictions. These thoughts are for all of us who have ever felt we have struggled to do the things we wanted to do while doing what we didn't. Jesus sets right what we do wrong. You see we may never get this contradiction under complete control and God’s grace is our greatest answer and comfort when we feel we've failed. His great act of love has broken the power of our sin and rebellion and covered it with his unconditional mercy. This is such good news for anyone struggling with this same question.