Ever get stuck in that place where you know the right thing to do, but you just don’t do it?
You know not to cheat on a test, but you might do it anyway. You know not to lie to your parents, but you continue to fall into falsehood. You know not to hang out with the wrong crowd, but can’t find the motivation to break away. You know not to steal something that isn’t yours, but you find yourself in that place where you just have to have it. You know not to view pornography or have pre-marital or extra-marital sex, but you just can’t help it.
In one way or another, each of us knows something we should be doing, but we just don’t do it. Why?
Let’s take a look at Scripture to find the answer to this one. The apostle Paul knew this place too. In fact, he wrote about this in his letter to the Romans:
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.” (Romans 7:15-21)
It’s our sinful nature. Even those of us who follow Christ are prone to default to our sinful nature. We can’t help it sometimes. Without Christ we are dead. But with Him the struggle can still exist. Every day we are in a war. It’s a war between our “old self” and “new self.” We are new people with old habits. That doesn’t give us an excuse to keep on doing the wrong thing. Rather, we must do the right thing; we must persevere. But it is only by the faith, mercy, and grace God gives us that this perseverance is possible.
Always remember Romans 8:1-2, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”
If Christ is in you, you are forgiven.