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Maybe it’s just me, but the older I become, the more increasingly aware I grow of my flaws. Not just superficial ones, either. The ugly, cold-blooded, deep-rooted ones we wish didn’t exist within us, yet still wrestle with. I’m constantly reminded of the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 7: 

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it” (Romans 7:15-20, New International Version). 

The Message paraphrase frames it this way: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it” (Romans 7:15-20, The Message). 

Both are lengthy passages, but ones I believe are well worth our time. Why? Two main reasons:

1. They help us realize our fallen nature. 

2. They point us to our need for Jesus.