“But if I am doing the very that I do not want to do, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me”-Romans 7.20
Paul is such a philosopher, you know. This point that he makes is one of great simplicity but deep impact. Could it be that who I am is more defined by my desires than my actions? Now, what if those desires even have two levels. One is the desire that I have that is more present with my consciousness and the next is more the subconscious desire, one that is more basic or even primitive.
Here’s an example. I play Fantasy Football. I stink at Fantasy Football. Whenever I play these online sports competitions it seems that the more time I put into it the worse the result. So, when I got smoked by 30 points in week 1 I had this inner desire that my opponents, all friends of mine, would from that point forward loose miserably so that I could, with a small smile on my face, tell them my strategy that worked so brilliantly, and help soothe their little wounds. At the same time, I had a feeling that mirrors what Paul writes later in chapter 7, "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Seriously, I am one messed up dude...but not me, the sin that lives in me. For real? Is that not just some cop-out? I actually do not believe in any part of me that is...any more. Since, if I did consider it a cop-out, I would be going back on the very thing Jesus did for me.
So, I am a good man...because of God rescuing me from my wretched self through Jesus Christ our Lord. What so many Christians consider basic, I think is the most profound truth I have ever experienced. This is reason turned on its head by reason. Think about it: the only way we don't feel utter guilt for our lives is by passing the buck, not taking responsibility for the hurt that we cause other people. It's the only way. Unless, we take responsibility, then we see how "wretched" we are, and we see our need for someone to save us. There's Jesus. The only way.
Profound, I tell ya. That is something, the only thing, worth giving my life to.
As one of my friends who was trying a little too hard said in middle school, "Straight up seriously yo!"