I love my cell group. We are all very different but it works. Our strengths compliment one another and we challenge each other with our own opinions and thoughts. It makes life colourful and interesting. This has never been as true as it was this week! We are wrestling our way through Paul’s letter to the Romans and this week we were challenged/frustrated/confused with chapter 7.
I am still digesting and learning, but basically Paul talks about sin and the law and how the law is just and holy and without it we wouldn’t know what sin is. But despite knowing the law, sin gets in the way because we are human and we end up doing the very things we don’t want to do.
He puts it like this;
“The desire to do good is inside of me, but I can’t do it. I don’t do the good that I want to do, but I do the evil that I don’t want to do.” (NIV)
I was relieved when I read this. It wasn’t just me that struggles with those moments of horror when you say or do something that you instantly regret. The times when you try so hard and want to do something else, yet end up doing something completely different. I don’t mean that as an excuse, I just mean I am glad I am not alone in this. As we reflected on our own thoughts about Romans 7, I was reminded of a quote;
“We are extremely vulnerable and easily victimised by the beautiful lie. It looks like freedom, it turns out to be bondage. It looks like cool, it turns out to be foolish. It looks like love, it turns out to be lust. It looks like life, it turns out to be death.” Duffy Robbins
My fears and insecurities often get in the way of me being loving and kind to people. I am often fooled by the ‘beautiful lie.’ I really value attributes such as kindness, being inclusive, depth, honesty, faithfulness and integrity but often they get lost because of my sinful nature. I try to live out these values and often end up, if I am lucky, a messier version of the ideal or more often than not, the complete opposite. I want to be inclusive, yet often what I end up seeking is to be included and that sometimes looks like gossip causing exclusivity. I want to be kind but I am often judgemental and therefore can be unkind. I want to be faithful in my relationship with God, but often that looks like a rigid timetable so I lose the very thing I seek.
I don’t have the answers to this conundrum. I guess being reminded that sin is at work in my life, helps remind me to seek forgiveness. To seek Jesus. And in the battle against the ‘beautiful lies’ we can often be fooled into believing, I want to seek TRUTH.