For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 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. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:22-25
I am still under construction. At my age of 52, I am still a work in progress. I think the day I stop growing and learning will be the day that I am no longer here.
As a Christ-follower, it’s not the tendencies of human nature that I want my life to reflect. Although not all parts of human nature are bad.
It is human nature that makes us want to socialize, to gather as families and friends, to celebrate life together. It’s the reason that we need to hug each other, laugh together, and connect on an emotional level. We were created to need human contact.
It’s human nature that causes us to weep in times of grieving and in times of joy. And human nature causes us to laugh and find joy in even the simplest things.
It’s the transparency and exposure of the other parts that I’m not so proud of. Like my tendency to lean toward self-preservation at the cost of shutting people out, or forgetting to look deeper at someone or a circumstance and not just take it at face-value. The part that wants to let my emotions get the better of me and affect my perspective. The bitterness of offense that occasionally tries to take root in my spirit.
How am I, who cannot change that I am human, going to correct these negative human qualities in myself?
The fact is, I can make a conscious effort to change, I can learn by the negative consequences of my actions, I can read good books and information about how to overcome, and I can surround myself with people whose influence teaches me a better way. But there is an internal struggle in the heart of man which maintains a constant pull toward those less desirable human qualities.
For some, many of those things are easily pushed down and kept suppressed. And for others the struggle is fought daily, like a weight constantly tethered to our being.
My area of weakness may not be a problem for you. Where you are still learning, I may be at my strongest.
But here is my hope!
Jesus Christ has my heart! I gave it to Him a long time ago. Though the evidence of my human nature shows itself many times, it is my heart’s desire to instead adopt the nature of Christ.
When I mess up, He hears my repentant cry. When I submit my human will to His, He meets me there and becomes my strength in my areas of weakness. The more I lean on His strength to overcome, and the more I seek and learn of His ways, the stronger I become, and more and more, I will be victorious over my less desired human qualities.
“My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
He says: “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. Ezekiel 36:26
Oh, how I pray that any eulogy that may be spoken of me at my earthly departure would say, “Her life wasn’t always easy, but Oh! Jesus had her heart!”
(Photo credits- Robin Abrams, public domain)