Living

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So did something good bring death to me? Absolutely not! But sin caused my death through something good so that sin would be exposed as sin. That way sin would become even more thoroughly sinful through the commandment. We know that the Law is spiritual, but I’m made of flesh and blood, and I’m sold as a slave to sin. I don’t know what I’m doing, because I don’t do what I want to do. Instead, I do the thing that I hate. But if I’m doing the thing that I don’t want to do, I’m agreeing that the Law is right. But now I’m not the one doing it anymore. Instead, it’s sin that lives in me. I know that good doesn’t live in me—that is, in my body. The desire to do good is inside of me, but I can’t do it. I don’t do the good that I want to do, but I do the evil that I don’t want to do. But if I do the very thing that I don’t want to do, then I’m not the one doing it anymore. Instead, it is sin that lives in me that is doing it. So I find that, as a rule, when I want to do what is good, evil is right there with me. I gladly agree with the Law on the inside, but I see a different law at work in my body. It wages a war against the law of my mind and takes me prisoner with the law of sin that is in my body. I’m a miserable human being. Who will deliver me from this dead corpse? Thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then I’m a slave to God’s Law in my mind, but I’m a slave to sin’s law in my body. ~Romans 713:25 (CEB)

Jesus came to Earth to give us life. To walk away from the darkness is sometimes a moment by moment choice away from past habits. Sometimes we feel that we are being ruled by our impulses. That we are doing that which we do not want to do and not doing the things we want to do. We can feel out of control sometimes.

“Choosing life instead of death demands an act of will that often contradicts our impulses.  Our impulses want to take revenge, while our wills want to offer forgiveness.  Our impulses push us to an immediate response:  When someone hits us in the face, we impulsively want to hit back.

How then can we let our wills dominate our impulses?   The key word is wait.  Whatever happens, we must put some space between the hostile act directed toward us and our response.  We must distance ourselves, take time to think, talk it over with friends, and wait until we are ready to respond in a life-giving way.  Impulsive responses allow evil to master us, something we always will regret.   But a well thought-through response will help us to ‘master evil with good’ (Romans 12.21).” ~From Bread for the Journey, Henri Nowen

It is not enough to have the desire to do what is good. Through Jesus and some conscious thought about my actions, I can begin to become the person I want to be. I want to be “living” for God.

Heavenly Father, I want to LIVE for You. Please guide my steps this day. Help me to remember when impulses threaten to send me back into old ways of death that I can “wait” it through with You and friends until a life-giving way is revealed and I can walk back into the light. I want to live this day without regrets. I want to live this day for You. Amen.

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