At that moment, I had to admit the obvious truth, that if I hadn’t been able to change thus far, it wasn’t likely that I ever would in the future either. For now and forever, unless I was handed some sort of miracle, I was and always would be the same overweight, perpetually late, disorganized, messy, unhealthy, spiritually immature person I always had been.
No wonder I was depressed!
As you can imagine, this was one of the lowest points of my life, not to mention one of the most confusing. I kept asking myself what other choice I had but to keep picking myself up and dusting myself off and trying yet again to do what I wanted to do but seemed incapable of doing.
If this sounds foreign to you, then perhaps you’ve never had these kind of struggles, ones that force you to wage battle against your own true nature, behaviors, and mindsets. But if you are a person who is housekeeping impaired, then more than likely you know exactly what I’m talking about—and not just in the area of home care but in other areas as well.
In my struggle, my mind went to the Apostle Paul, who said: “What I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do,” and also “I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.”
That was me in a nutshell! I wanted desperately to do better but couldn’t seem to change. Reaching for my Bible, I decided to explore further what Paul had to say on the subject, hoping to find a new perspective on my issues.
The verses I had been thinking of were in the book of Romans. (Note: Though I usually prefer the ESV or NIV versions of the Bible, I’m posting The Message version here, for clarity.) To put them in context, Romans 7:15-25 says:
What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary.
But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?
Great stuff, huh? Sadly, I could see myself in all of it, especially:
I decide one way, but then I act another...
I need something more!
I obviously need help!
I can will it, but I can't do it.
Something…gets the better of me every time.
It happens so regularly that it's predictable.
I've tried everything and nothing helps.
I'm at the end of my rope.
Despite my hopelessness, as I read these words, I felt like I was on the verge of finding some answers.
BE SURE TO COME BACK TOMORROW FOR THE NEXT PORTION OF THIS ESSAY.