I Do & I Don’t

Read: Romans 7:14-25
Do you sometimes do things that you know you should not do?  It’s a dilemma that all humans face because of sinful nature and Godly nature.  We are all made in the image of God and yet because of sin in the world we are faced with choices of right and wrong almost daily, maybe even hourly.  Why does temptation to sin seem so glamorous when in reality it is so destructive?
In a recent golfdigest.com article, Joel Beall writes about an interesting golf hole on the shores of Lake Michigan.  The 12th hole at Arcadia Bluffs has a beautiful view of Lake Michigan from the tee box. In the past the golf course had a sign on the tee box that discouraged golfers from hitting balls out in into Lake Michigan.  After a while they realized that drawing attention to this temptation (with the sign) actually caused more people to tee one up into the lake than if the sign had not been there at all.
While that example is much less damaging than other choices of right and wrong it gives evidence of what Paul is writing about in Romans 7.  In verse 15 he says, “I don’t understand why I act the way I do. I don’t do what I know is right. I do the things I hate.” What Paul is pointing out is that our sinful nature too often convinces us to do things that we really know are not right, good, or Godly.  Thus the sign on the 12th hole at Arcadia Bluffs. Don’t do this was the reason that many ended up doing it. The course manager has since removed the sign instead of giving golfers the idea.
Too often people view God or the Bible as only a list of right and wrongs.  A more truthful way to view God and the Bible is through the love that is shown to us by our creator.  God loves us so much and thus warns us about sinful things in this world that will cause us misery and heartache.  His love for us will never die but we are cautioned about the sin in this world that will ultimately bring harm to us.  Later in the book of Galatians Paul also says that one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. Self-control is a fruit that allows us to say “No, I don’t want to do this” when a part of us wants to say “Yes, I do.”  
Make it Personal:  Be aware when these kind of choices come up in your life.  Ask yourself what God’s desire is as you are faced with the sinful desires of the world that can bring misery, heartache, and harm.  God loves you and wants to help you stay on a path that leads to a good, holy, and pleasing life in this world. You can do it with God’s help and the Fruit of the Spirit!
Have a wonderful week everyone, Pastor Glen Rhodes