[Papercut Press] 2001-06-06 - Learning a Lesson

Romans 7:15 For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.

My wife and I went to the beach on Monday. It was a nice day, the water was cold, but still the sun was bright and there was a nice cooling wind. I guess I didn't pay close enough attention to the progress of my tanning. I now have a bad burn. It hurts and I am fairly miserable.

I have no excuse for my foolishness. In college, I worked training lifeguards to work on the beaches up and down the East Coast. Every class of recruits got several lectures on various aspects of lifeguarding. One lecture was on the importance of sunscreen and paying attention to your skin and also the skin of those whom you were guarding on the beach. So I know better and I have no excuse for my stupidity.

As I was reflecting on this, it struck me that this is also a lesson in growing in godliness. Paul struggled with this very issue. He knew what was right. He knew what to do, but he found that he struggled to do it. In fact, the very thing that he wanted to do, he did not do. We, like Paul, do this all the time in our walk with the Lord.

We know that gossip is wrong, but we gossip. We know that we should not lie, but we lie to protect ourselves or our precious reputations. We do the very things that we know we should not do. We live as if, "To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood." (Revelation 1:5) were not true. If we are released from our sins, we might ask, then why do I still struggle with sin?

Romans 6:14-22 is a helpful passage that teaches us the need to still subdue sin in our lives. Verse 14 says, "For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace." And we must seek to make this a reality in our lives. We will struggle in this task. Even the Apostle Paul struggled greatly, but we must seek to do those things that we know are right and to put an end to doing those things that are harmful to us and grieve our Lord Jesus Christ. Never forget that this is a struggle and there will be mountains and valleys, but the joy in the struggle is that sometimes we do see victory and progress as we strive in our Christian lives.

Soli Deo Gloria,

[email tim] godrulestb@aol.com