Tag Archives: Romans 7

No Matter How the World Dresses up Sin – Dirt is dirt

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. ~ Romans 24-25

I’m pretty sure I have the best teen group in the nation. If you’re a teen leader, you probably think so too… or you should. They stretch me with my idealistic notions of what faith looks like, by granting me the new generations perspective. Just when I think I have it all figured out, we get into a deep (or sometimes shallow) theological discussion and I have one of those “You are not as smart as you thought you were, Shari,” moments. They are really quite frequent if I’m honest.

But last night’s ill prepared teen lesson was on “restoration” of the body of Christ. We skimmed the tops of scriptures about Peter, David, Saul and others whose failures sometimes lead to renpentance and sometimes not. But God’s love of broken people is evident from Genesis to Revelation.

The one glaring fact that comes from muddy pink boots, is that no matter how the world dresses up sin, dirt is still dirt. It aint pretty. The lesson that I learned from my diverse group of thinkers in the teen group last night was, children, (like God) are so quick to forgive the people they care about. And so quick to move on from mistakes understanding that they’re learning! I’m not so quick to move on. I sometimes put my pretty muddy pink boots in the corner as a reminder about that time I didn’t go around the mud, but walked right through it. I walk by my failed attempt at life and kick myself. I try buying a new pair of boots, but they’re not fun to wear, because i really want to wear the pink ones.

I know that’s a very odd parable. But what I hope you learn is what I did: Restoration also has to be done within. Especially if we’re not apt to share the fact that our boots are muddy to start with. Christians seldom want anyone else to know what they struggle with for fear of being seen as “less godly.” Well let me tell, I am for certain less godly. And I struggle with lots of “stuff.” I have a tender heart willing to forgive everyone but me. God is showing me through the youth who love me faults and all, that He does too.

I need to clean off those pink books and get back to walking.

How about you? Do you struggle with self degradation and unforgiveness. Maybe your boots are another color, but they’ll clean up just as nicely if you’ll spray them down with the water of the Word.

Did You Really Just Do That?

I would like to say that I don’t understand people but I too fall into the category of people I don’t understand. My life verses should be that of Apostle Paul in Romans 7:15-18

For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

It’s almost a tongue twister, and even though it’s not the dialect of today, we get Paul’s gest pretty quickly. “I do what I don’t want to do, and don’t do what I do want to do.” Why is that? Why are we so wishy-washy when it comes standing our ground in the Christian faith. We have the Holy Spirit within us telling us what is right and what is wrong, and yet we still fall to the wiles of Satan, or sometimes I don’t even think he gets the credit. We just do it because we want to and grace has us covered so why worry about it? It’s a constant conflict between grace and the corrupted heart of man.

It’s how we who believe “once saved always saved” theology get into trouble with a lost world who look at us and say “Did you really just do that?” I don’t know what Paul did to cause himself to go on this rant of sorts, but I can’t imagine it was as bad as some of the things I’ve done.

What got me on this tangent this morning was a well-intended google search for “trending” topics lead me astray to an article about a news anchor cat fight that’s now the hottest book selling. I kept on reading as each juicy tidbit of slander was revealed about the three bickering babes and after about the 20th paragraph of what was intended as a quick survey of the article I clicked the “x” in the top corner and got the article out of my face; frustrated that I had gotten sucked in to it in the first place. So fifteen minutes of valuable time was lost with the Lord’s work in exchange for fueling the flesh. Give me a break! have I not grown more than this in my spiritual life. The answer is no.

And how ironic that what got me off task of spreading the good news was the worlds news, and it unfortunately is the same old story just a different day. The twisted way the media relays the news varies on who they’re catering to on that particular day of the week. It’s a small part of why I don’t watch the news, it’s not much more than gossip dressed in its Sunday best, and the news I should be concerning myself with reads like a modern day newspaper and there’s not one word of fiction in it. That would be the Bible.

My mind has now been refocused, and I’m ready to face the day hoping to do what I want to do and not do what I don’t.