Freed from the inside out.

Sometimes I am my own worst enemy. Paul says it best in Romans 7. The good I want to do I don’t do. The bad I want to stop I keep on doing. It can be very frustrating! It’s easy to look around me and find blame in the world in everyone else. It’s easy to look around and see what’s wrong with the world. It’s easy to point out the devil and condemn his role in making my life miserable. All those things are true, but it is equally true that I am responsible for the wrong that I do, the hurt I bring, and the good I fail to accomplish.

Whether I’m trying to eat better and keep sneaking another piece of chocolate, or I’m trying to care for a neighbor but find myself sitting on the couch again I’m often frustrated by my inability to progress in my walk as a disciple of Jesus. I can be my own worst enemy.

This can be a helpful thing for me to remember when I interact with other people. The reality is that every person is fighting an internal battle against themself. Everyone has bad behaviors, thoughts, and words that they have trouble stopping. Everyone has something good that they want to accomplish even though they always come up short. The inner battle is human nature, and we’re all in the same boat.

Paul doesn’t leave us in desperation in Romans chapter 7 though. He gives everyone the same resource for winning the inner battle: “Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Jesus, the Good Shepherd can lead us to freedom even from our worst enemy, ourselves!

Dear Jesus, I often frustrate myself. Free me from the wrong I do, and enable me to do good. Amen.

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