Repent or Repeat
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 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. 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.” (Romans 7:15-20)
In today's verse, we can all agree that everyone of us has a weakness we struggle with that repeatedly plays itself over and over in our lives. Some of the weaknesses we may bear in our lives is perhaps having a hard time trusting others, being too stubborn, maybe taking things to personally, or being close-minded, lustful, self-critical, fearful, lazy, a perfectionist, procrastinating, being too greedy, taking on too much, acting bossy, and feeling the need to always be right. The list goes on!
Have you ever asked yourself, “why can’t I overcome this, why does this mistake keep repeating itself?" It is quite a challenge in itself when we are facing our weaknesses. Quite often we know what they are--but how many of us face it right on just as David faced Goliath? We know our struggles, yet because life pulls us in so many directions, we let it slide, when in fact we should examine, acknowledge, confess and repent of it. In a culture where everything is “what about me?”, we have the tendency to blame our weaknesses or wrongs on others just so we could feel less of the weight on ourselves.
Personally for me, I struggle with trusting and over thinking. Repeatedly having to experience dishonesty, hurt, and disappointment time and time again from a loved one is just too heart aching. A pain that leaves me nothing less than the inability to trust again. When such situations arise my thoughts race around “what did I do to deserve that?” or “am I not good enough?” Feelings of insecurity, doubts and hurt have me feeling challenged to forgive.
In the conversation Peter had with Jesus he says, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me?” Jesus replied, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Trust me, it isn’t always easy to forgive again and again. It is in these weakest moments where I cry out to God for help!
I cry out for His help to first overcome the overwhelming feelings and thoughts that stir me away from seeing the truth. I then begin to repent for not placing my trust in Him who is sovereign even in the midst of my pain, anguish, and hurt. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t come naturally for me to repent immediately after such overwhelming incidents. I cry and cry and cry and in fact at times I even doubt if God is even with me in those moments. But praise God for His patience and mercy for carrying me through these moments of brokenness by giving me the gift of faith to keep anchoring onto Him.
Do not for a moment think: “I keep coming to God to confess with the same weakness,he is probably tired of hearing it over and over again and yet I am not changed”
He is a God that is personal! It does not steer him away from you but gives him way to draw closer to you. Does the Word not say, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” Let His power rest in us, we are better off continuously anchoring onto Him to repent than to repeatedly make the same mistakes over and over again. Though we may be challenged to forgive “not seven times, but seventy seven times”, God, Our Mighty God is more than able to forgive us day in and day out as we cry out to Him with a sincere heart.