Work in progress - Hope 103.2

Work in progress

By David ReayFriday 31 Oct 2014LifeWords DevotionalsCultureReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Romans 7:21-25

21-25 When I come up against the Law I want to do good,but in practice I do evil. My conscious mind whole-heartedly endorses the Law,yet I observe an entirely different principle at work in my nature. This is in continual conflict with my conscious attitude,and makes me an unwilling prisoner to the law of sin and death. In my mind I am God’s willing servant,but in my own nature I am bound fast,as I say,to the law of sin and death. It is an agonising situation,and who on earth can set me free from the clutches of my sinful nature? I thank God there is a way out through Jesus Christ our Lord. (JBP)

Paul describes what is a common experience amongst honest followers of Jesus. We want to do the right thing and resolve to do it each day. And yet by the end of the day we may find ourselves lamenting our inability to carry out our resolutions-even when we seek the Spirit’s help.

It is good to face up to our weakness and even better to realise that God doesn’t give us up as lost causes because of our frequent failure. It reminds us of our need of grace,and the necessity of the death of Jesus on our behalf.

It is also good to recognise our predicament because it helps us be less judgemental of others. It is so easy to condemn others for persisting in sin whereas we ourselves similarly persist. Though our sins might be more secret and even more ‘respectable’.

The medieval writer Thomas à Kempis once said that we ought not to be angry at others because they are not as they ought to be given that we cannot make ourselves who we ought to be. The antidote to judgementalism is uncomfortable self-awareness. And the remedy for that discomfort is dependence on the deep and wide grace of God.

David Reay