May 21, 2022

Doing What I Don't Want to Do and Not Doing What I Do Want to Do


In this passage, Paul discusses the problem of our inside (the person we are) not matching up with the outside (the person we should be or want to be). In this case, the outside is the way that God has designed the world to work and for us to be, to use contemporary parlance, “the best version of ourselves.” This is called “the law,” which in Hebrew is the Torah, the most basic instruction from God. Here, God gives the vision what life should be and invites human beings into that kind of good life. At the end of the Torah we find the simple invitation: Choose life! God has given us a vision for the good life, along with the standards and rules that help us live that life. On the inside, however, is the reality of who we truly are – broken, distorted, and full of desires that push us toward pain and heartbreak – very different from that ideal or vision of the good life. When Paul reflects on the mismatch he sees in his own life, he concludes, “Wretched man that I am!” He seems like a thirsty man reaching for a glass of water but finding it just out of his reach.

Questions for Reflection:

  • What are the specific ways you don’t do what you want and do what you don’t want?

  • Consider irritations towards other that you have recently or regularly felt. What do those irritations tell you about yourself?

  • “Thanks be to God.” In your mind, lay your sin upon Jesus and worship God for accepting you fully.