If I were to ever write an auto-biography, I may call it The Ugly Truth. I would want to be honest and open about what I have learned. What God taught me as I fought him through my youth is not pretty.
Not too many years ago, I read someone’s auto-biography. I was eager to see what lessons they learned in their many years of Christian service. You know what I learned? They never sinned. At least I never read of a single instance where they stumbled and the Lord lifted them up. Maybe their biography, if it is written after they have been gone many years, will be different. I will look for it.
A few years ago, someone told me they hate me because I think I am perfect. What? I thought, you have not been listening to me. I thought we were close friends, but she did not know me at all.
I like to consider myself a good listener. I have several friends that I can’t get a word in edgewise with, and I don’t want to. I want to listen to them. When they want me to talk they ask me a question. I like to pray with them, cry with them, hug them, and I love them deeply.
I hope they see me as like them. I have a past that my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has saved me from. My testimony is that I was saved at the age of five years old. That is not when I stopped sinning. I still sin. That was when I recognized that I needed to be saved from my sin. Indeed, my life changed from that moment. But it took me a L O N G time to bend my knee and deny all others and follow Christ as my Lord and Master, not just Savior.
This morning in church I was disgusted with myself. I was ashamed of the way I behaved yesterday. I pouted and whined and truly, needed a spanking. I wrote at the top of my page of notes a question: “Why do I continually sin?” The answer comes from Romans chapter 7.
“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” Romans 7:18-19 ESV
Out of context this seems very confusing.
Paul, the writer of Romans, calls himself the Chief of All Sinners. We know that before he met Jesus as Messiah, he sought out Christians to be killed. After meeting Jesus on the Road to Damascus, he was changed, drastically. He is best known for writing many books of the New Testament. I like to tell the children in my Sunday School class that because of Paul, since he brought the gospel to Europe, my family heard of Jesus.
If someone looks at my life out of context they may be confused. I have a deep desire to pursue holy living. So someone who meets me at 53 may think I was always this way. I assure you, and them, I was not. Sure, I wanted to be a good girl. I tried to obey my parents. Mostly, I was a deceiver. I still am in many ways. There are many areas of my life that I have not fully surrendered to Jesus Christ. I don’t intend to do wrong, but I am still living in this sinful body. As long as I live here on earth I will stumble, I will even fall.
I am so grateful Romans 7 does not end with the verses above.
“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” Romans 7: 24-25
That is why I still sin. In my mind I want to do what is right. Often I even think I am doing what is right. Then I read something in the Bible that hits me square between the eyes with the Truth that I am a wretched woman. In my flesh, this body I reside in here on earth, I continue to ‘serve the law of sin’. That is I sin. Daily.
Unfortunately, I don’t confess my sin as often as I should. Praise be to God, though! By his Grace, I am his child. He loves me through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Even on days like yesterday; maybe especially on days like that.
The Ugly Truth, were it ever to be published. Would begin and end with Jesus.