In AD 56 when Paul was in Corinth writing a letter to the Romans, can you imagine if someone said to him, “Hey Paul, in almost 2000 years, there’s going to be 25 year old girls who speak a language called English in a country called the USA that are relating to what you wrote here.”
Romans chapter 8 gets a lot attention for being instructional on righteous living but I like Romans chapter 7. I think I’ve written the exact same thing Paul wrote in my own prayer journal. You can almost feel his frustration jumping off the page in verse 15: “ 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.”
It’s all well and good that the Bible gives us commands and instructions to live by. We need those! But, some days, I just want to know that I’m not the only one who feels frustrated. I’m not the only one who reflects back on my day and thinks “I know gossip is wrong, so why did I do it anyways?” or “I didn’t want to tell lies but I did it without even thinking.” How interesting that this frustration transcends milleniums, genders, cultures, continents, and languages!
Today I’m thankful that the Bible doesn’t just say “Do this and do that and then God will like you.” Instead, it comforts us by saying, “I know exactly how you feel and you are not alone.”
Side note: In Romans 7: 1-6, I had no idea what the example of the widower being allowed to remarry was about. I was thinking about it way too literally. Here’s my bible handbook making it clear: