Understanding Self…

People say that the hardest thing to do is understand people. I think that is the second hardest- the first is self! The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 7:14-20 some pretty hard to digest words:

15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

I feel the same way sometimes, “I do not understand what I do!” I find it so hard sometimes to understand myself, my motives, my reasons behind things, and even my own thoughts. Do you feel this way too?

I so desperately want to do what is right in God’s eyes. I so desperately want to know and understand His ways- truth, but I continuously struggle with it.

Paul says that he “knows that nothing good lives inside of me, that is, in my sin nature.” It seems to me that Paul struggled with the same thing as I. Paul, however, gives the answer as to why it is this way. Paul says that it is the evil that lurks inside of him.

Now, as I look at myself, I can see the evil that is there, but I can’t see how it manifests itself always. I’ve discovered that the sin problem is so deep rooted, so ingrained (like white trash DNA) that I can’t possibly get rid of myself. There is absolutely no way that I could weed through all of the tares that are mixed in with this wheat. But there is someone who can, someOne who does do this very thing of weeding out the tares. His name is the Holy Spirit- the Great Counselor.

With that said, I want to stop for a second and focus on the Counselor Himself. I’ve been to a human counselor before, when I was a child and I’ve had the opportunity to have some counseling classes in college. I’ve learned that a good counselor takes his time and works patiently to help a person through their problems. You see, people have problems- lots of them! Everyone does, not just the clinically insane! We all have the OCD tendencies if you will, things that drive us crazy, things that cause us to think bad things about people, and things that misconstrue the truths that we have heard. A good counselor is patient, but brings these things to the surface so that we can see them and identify the deep problems as practical ones. To see the deep rooted problems in our life is to see be freed from their control in your life. A good counselor does this. I think this is exactly what the Holy Spirit does in our lives when it comes to sin.

We can’t possibly weed out all of the sin in our life, because we are blind to it- we don’t know how much of it is there! Here’s a story to illustrate: Rachel’s aunt and uncle, totally wonderful people, just adopted their second little girl from China. The little girl speaks very little english but is brilliant, funny, and beautiful. However, she does have one very obvious physical defect- her left hand is missing all its fingers. This little girl was either born without fingers on this hand or lost them at a very early age. But the neat thing is, she doesn’t act like she misses them! She does everything that her new sister does without any complaint or problem! She doesn’t see that there is a problem with her hand. She doesn’t notice that her hand doesn’t work like it should. She doesn’t notice it because she never known different.

I think that we are blind to our own sin because we were born into it; meaning that we have lived with this “physical” defect for so long that we don’t even notice that it’s not as it should be. So just like Rachel’s new cousin isn’t bothered by her hand, we are not bothered by our sin!

But the sad fact is, the sin is still there. I know the sin is still there because I still can’t do what I know I should. I know it’s still there because I can’t stop doing what is wrong. In fact, I think that most people, whether they realize it or not, know that there is some kind of problem in the world that needs to be fixed. Remember when you saw the Haiti tragedy on TV? Remember the feelings and thoughts running through your head? You knew that it was wrong! You knew that something was wrong! You knew that “this is not how it’s supposed to be!”

Maybe you blamed God, maybe you blamed society for all the pollution; whoever you blamed, the fact still remains- something is wrong! This is not how it’s supposed to be!

My struggle right now as I write is this: Why do we continue to live as if the problem doesn’t exist? Why do we let the problem continue in our lives? Why are some many of us, including myself, not going to the Counselor for help?

If we knew that something was wrong with our mental stability, we would make every effort to get it fixed! We would never miss an appointment with the doctor. Why is that? I believe it’s because we would understand that we are broken and need to be fixed.

Do you understand that you are broken? Do you want to be fixed?

It’s time to make an appointment with the Counselor! It’s time to get some help! It’s time to stop denying the truth you know inside!

I’m calling in right now to make mine, don’t wait! Join me!

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