Romans 7:15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
Sometimes I am my own worst enemy.
There are some days that I literally look at myself in the mirror and say, “what were you thinking?” Or I look behind me to see who my husband is staring at in horror only to realize he’s looking at me…because of something I just said or did. And I think to myself, “How did that even just happen?”
Have you ever felt like that? (Please tell me I am not alone!)
Well, actually, I know I am not alone, because the Apostle Paul tells us about something similar in his letter to the Romans. And I gotta tell you…I really love this verse. Not because I want to hear that Paul messes up. Back up…yes, it IS because I want to hear that Paul–the Apostle, amazing follower of Jesus who led multiple people groups to the saving power of Jesus Christ–wasn’t perfect. He made mistakes. He did things he didn’t like and didn’t understand why. Even the great Paul was a sinner….just like me.
I imagine him saying, “I am my own worst enemy.”
(It’s actually the sin within us that is the enemy, but I will get to that)
So, if the things that I do, the things I don’t understand but I know are wrong are coming from ME….then I am the only one that can change them.
If I am my own worst enemy, I–with the power of God–need to choose to change those things.
It’s super easy to look at others (especially those that are in close proximity-like your spouse) and see what they are doing that you don’t understand or things that you hate. It’s easy to label them the enemy. We seem to prefer to have other people to blame–scapegoats for our issues.
It’s not easy to look within ourselves and see the things we truly dislike, even hate. And then, imagine being like Paul and publicly professing it! What?!
Who wants to admit that they don’t have control over themselves? Who wants to tell their spouse, or neighbor, or friend that they are doing something they don’t like to do? It’s not such a fun task.
BUT it’s freedom. Confession of sin is part of the process of growth. Admitting our own faults–rather than focusing on everyone else’s–frees us to heal and grow.
We are always going to have sin. We will always have something we are doing that we probably wish we weren’t. But when we seek God to identify them, confess them and free ourselves from them, we have greatly lessened our burden and drawn closer to God. That’s a win, in my eyes!
Sin (those things we hate that we do) separate us from God.
So, technically, I am not my own worst enemy. My sin is most own worst enemy. I am a child of God who daily needs to make the choice to kick that enemy out and make lots of room for the God I love. The more I do that, the more open I am to loving those around me.
What do you do that you hate? How can you ask God to help you remove it?