It’s so frustrating, and I know I’m not the only one who’s done it. You know, those times that you continually do something stupid knowing it’s stupid but do it anyway. Why do we do these things to ourselves? What’s worse is when you come through something and realize it was not the smartest thing to do, and you do it yet again. Please tell me I’m not the only one who has done this.
Sometimes it’s a struggle with sin, and sometimes it’s a struggle with something that’s simply not God’s best for you. Either way, I think we can all relate it to what Paul talks about in Romans 7:
So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
Does this sound like something that has gone on in your own mind? How is it that the Bible contains something that speaks so closely to something you’ve dealt with? It’s because God wrote this Bible knowing what you would face in your lifetime. As hard as it is to believe, those things you face have been faced by millions before you. God used Paul to speak about this in hopes you might listen and related to it and learn from it.
Unfortunately, I’m someone that sometimes doesn’t learn from what I read. I still go on and make the mistakes. Then I suffer the consequences. Then I find myself still making those same ignorant mistakes again. I get so mad at myself for finding myself in the same situation.
Maybe you’ve allowed someone to take advantage of your generosity, or you’ve fallen into temptation, or you’ve told someone too much personal information . . . the list can go on.
What can you do to not find yourself in the same situation that you’ve found yourself in so many times before?
- Let someone hold you accountable. Regardless of what type of situation it is, find someone you trust who is willing to mentor you and hold you accountable. Be cautious! Too many times girls look for peers to hold them accountable, and it usually doesn’t work out well. You need a leader or mentor of some type to do this for you.
- Be aware of the previous situation and its outcome. Sometimes you fall back into the trap because you truly don’t see it coming. You need to have a good
understanding of how you found yourself in the situation before so that maybe you don’t do it again.
- Learn to say “no.” A lot of times, you find yourself in bad situations just because you can’t say this small word. I see it all the time in the business world where a worker does such a good job, so she’s always asked to do something extra and doesn’t turn it down. Word gets around that she will say “yes,” so everyone always asks her to take up their slack. I also see it with students who want to clean themselves up but still hang around with the same group of friends. They’re offered drugs, and they don’t want to say “no,” so they’re back in the same place they were before. Learn to say “no.”
The most important thing for you to know is that everyone struggles in some area or another. It’s the relationship with God that helps them through it. It’s so easy to look at others and think they have it all together, but that’s just the enemy lying to you. He knows that you’re less likely to talk to someone about your struggle if you think they’ll judge you. If you believe that lie, then you keep your struggle to yourself, and you’re more likely to find yourself in the same stupid scenario you were in before.
Don’t let the enemy deceive you by telling you that you’ll be judged by other believers for the mistakes you make. Yes, that does happen sometimes, but if you have someone in your life that you know has a real relationship with God, she is not going to judge you. Why? Because she has struggles of her own that she has either overcome or is working to overcome.
What are you struggling with today?