For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
My enneagram number is 5. If you haven’t heard of the enneagram, it is one of the many tests that exist for you to understand your personality. The test told me that I spend most of my life in my head. I am constantly thinking, remembering, and rehashing. For me, no other verse in Romans crushes me quite like this one.
I love Jesus. Like the other Paul from 2000 years ago, I have staked my life on who He is and what He has said is true. Still…I don’t understand my own actions sometimes. I’m willing to wager that you share that same feeling from time to time.
When Peter cut off the guard’s ear, Jesus reattached it. Too many times, I am the guy with the sword aiming for someone’s ear. As people mocked and berated Jesus, He stood silent. Too many times, I am the guy that has to defend himself and get the last word. Jesus hung on a cruel cross so that I might have forgiveness of all my sins. Too many times, I withhold forgiveness from those around me. I don’t do the thing I want. I want to be more like Jesus. I do the very thing I hate. I reflect the opposite of Jesus.
Jesus is literally a matter of life or death. In Him, we have already experienced death. The purpose was for us to enjoy this new life. The Apostle Paul had exacting standards for himself. He was always striving for Jesus. He came up short time and time again. But…Paul had been released. If you know this Jesus, you have been released as well. When we look at the rules, we always fall short. When we strive for Jesus, we know that we will fail in that aspiration on this side of Heaven.
That is okay. Jesus knows. Jesus didn’t sacrifice a bull or a lamb. That only covers a sin at time. That is a lot of animals and a lot of blood. Jesus sacrificed Himself. Before, we had sin and shame. In Him, we have grace, mercy, and newness of life. When you come up short, remember that He does not.