15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now 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.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:15-25
In this passage, Paul expresses our human condition. It reads almost like a comedic monologue, reminiscent of the old Abbott and Costello “who’s on first” routine. We have such good intentions. We want to be “good,” to do better in our lives, to be more loving, kind, generous, patient, etc. – to be our “best selves.”
My good intentions are often at their highest when I am in worship on Sunday. I believe God meets His people in a powerful way when we gather together in worship and I often hear Him speaking to me most clearly during a worship service.
Eventually, however, the worship service comes to a close and once again I’m back out in the real world where it’s really hard to be a follower of Jesus. I might have pledged to be more patient and loving on Sunday, but stuck in traffic on Monday morning, I find myself road raging as usual driving down GA 400.
But God continually reminds me that being His child is not about being my “best self.” It’s about becoming more like Jesus. I’m so grateful it’s not dependent on my being good, on following the rules, or following through on my good intentions. It’s always about realizing my own brokenness and depending on His grace and mercy, which is always enough.
I wrote a song about all this several years ago. Take a listen and may it inspire you to allow His grace to help you have more Sunday faith in your Monday morning life.