Romans 7:15-16 Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. 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. (The Message Bible)
This from the man who wrote a big chunk of the New Testament! Some folks write this off by saying Paul is describing the difference between before he became a Christian and after- the verse above being the before. But it doesn’t seem to read that way to me and the commentaries I’ve consulted agree. Paul knew the Bible, in his day the Old Testament, inside out. He had an fantastic direct experience with Jesus on the road to Damascus. Since then he had dedicated his life to ministry in the name of Christ. Still after years of devoted living he can make the above statement. This is, of course, only one part of the message he is sharing with his friends in the church at Rome, but it is a significant, vulnerable piece. If Paul could struggle to live out his faith maybe they shouldn’t feel so bad about their struggle. Maybe they could be more willing to accept the grace offered. Maybe they could be more vulnerable with one another. Maybe they could support each other more deeply. This week, maybe we could too.