For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me." Romans 7:15
I can't help but be reminded of a few certain rambunctious` boys in my fifth grade science class. Mrs. Snowden, bless her heart, dealt with them on the daily with me getting to be a spectator of their shenanigans; it started as soon as the bell rang for class to start.
Our beloved teacher would call roll, which one of them would always answer back with a dopey remark (why couldn't they just say, "Here" like the rest of us?). Then we would get out our books to begin our studies. Now, I was never one to be eager to open up our lessons and scan the pages of organisms, electricity, and the reproduction of life, but I also didn't feel comfortable acting a fool just to pass the time away.
These boys couldn't hold back. Obviously they didn't care about the changing matter in living beings or the structure of Earth's inner core, but gosh to interrupt those of us that pretended to care was another thing. They bounced and giggled and hit each other and threw paper wads and fell out of their desks; anything that kept them and those around them from the reality of learning scientific knowledge.
Mrs. Snowden though, she would not be undone. After bellowing out a good warning she then would make one of them pay the consequence of his and his buddy's actions. He was the "lucky one" chosen to be the exception to the rule.
Now this was back in the day of encyclopedias (big, thick, heavy, hardback books) that lined the shelves in her classroom. Everyday one of these rascals would end up standing at the front of the class, atop her large doormat with a stack of as many volumes in his arms that he could hold. He wasn't allowed to bend his elbows or move from one foot to the other when the load got heavy. He was to just stand; face the door and wait...hoping that our principal didn't choose that day to stop by for a face to face visit (I think him and our teacher were in cahoots because he always stopped by)...
I wonder if these guys ever "willed" themselves to 'do' better? "Not do what he hates" but "practice" what is good. To obey the law of the class and respect the teachers wishes but failed because of the "sin" that held him so tightly or the guilt of that sin. I wonder if they had good intentions but just couldn't keep focus because of "what they were doing they did not understand" or couldn't stop themselves from doing?
Paul sure does throw me for a loop every time I come across this scripture. There are several interpretations of this verse and the ones that follow it. I believe it is a picture of how our mind works on our daily walk after salvation. It is a struggle we have between our spiritual nature to be obedient to God and our flesh that desires to go our own way
Once we have been saved, our sins are forgiven and we are made new in Christ, but we still often and needlessly carry the guilt and shame of our sin. Our stubborn fleshly nature and the consequences brought on by our sin serve as a constant reminder of who and what we were before grace and mercy freed us. We will not be totally free of that guilt until the Lord's return, but we have the hope that we will one day be relieved of the struggle we endure here on earth with our sin nature (Rom.7:16-24). Because of the blood of Jesus we have been set free and are no longer condemned before Him. Praise God! (Rom. 7:25)
So, let's hold our load of books (guilt) as lightly as we can and be assured that one day when we see Him, face to face, there will be no more guilt and shame, only love and adoration. He knows the ending and I trust it will be glorious! Amen?
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, Thank You for your Word. May we believe it; hold true to its meaning and rest in the hope of all that it teaches us. Help us to understand the workings of our spiritual nature and our sinful nature and may we be steadfast in obeying You. Amen.
Originally posted on 1/17/2020