A Coffee and an Old Favourite Friday
Today I'm sharing my most popular post from my old Blogger blog. I hope you enjoy it!
As soon as I saw the above cartoon on my 2010 Non Sequitur desk calendar at work, the passage in Romans where Paul talks about doing all the things that are wrong even though he doesn’t really want to do them came to mind, particularly the part in chapter 7, verse 15 (NLT):
I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.
And I, along with many others (Christian or not), can relate to Paul’s frustrations or, at the very least, the sentiment in the cartoon. As kids we weren’t supposed to pass notes in class. But we did it anyways. (Hmmm – how does that work now with texting?) Whatever our age, we’re not supposed to jaywalk, but I have to confess I’ve done it . . . and then been enough of a hypocrite to be annoyed with those who do it when I’m driving. Christians are not supposed to judge others, are supposed to treat others the way they want to be treated, are to love God with everything they’ve got. Yet at one time or another I’ve failed at all of those things. Sometimes all at once; and I am not a one-time offender. Honestly, it would be very easy to go along with the following bit of logic:
Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of His wonderful grace? - Romans 6:1 (NLT)
But God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). And there is the verse after the one quoted above to consider:
I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? - Romans 6:2 (The Message)
Isaiah 42:20 talks about things the Israelites had not been doing. They saw and recognized what was right, but refused to act on it. They heard God’s commandments and instructions, but they weren’t really paying attention to them or to His prophets. And we can be the same way when it comes to laws and rules and regulations – both with God’s and in regards to ‘the law of the land’. So what do we do?
We can do what Paul said – live a new life in a new land, entering into Christ’s being-here-for us, freed from a life lived in bondage to sin and death (Romans 6:3, 8:1-2 The Message). To put it another way (and as I have highlighted Isaiah 42:17 in my Bible):
See and recognize what is right. Act on it. Hear with your ears. Really listen.