I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin.
Food For Thought:
This has been one of my favorite passages of Scripture since I discovered it as a child. It aptly captures the human experience and the struggle of being in the world. The apostle Paul describes his experience of wanting to do something which is good and doing the exact opposite. We have all had this experience. What is one thing in your spiritual life that needs work right now? Try to figure out a way to get back on track with that spiritual practice or living more faithfully to God’s call on your life.
Creator God, you call us to love and serve you with body, mind, and spirit through loving your creation and our brothers and sisters. Open our hearts in compassion to offer ourselves in loving service to others. Guide us as we seek to be your faithful disciples in this world. Remind us that even when we get off track, we can always get back on track. In your holy name we pray, Amen.