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What I do not want to do, I do …

03-10-2011 - Posted by Andre Piet

not black Our brain I like to compare with a computer. A computer follows (if it works well…) the commands it receives from the user, while it does not know the word no. When I, for instance, in Google Pictures the search instruction ‘not black’ include, then, black is shown to be the dominant color in the pictures that are found. This is how our brain works, too. Do I hear: do not think of blue… than, in order to properly understand this instruction, I first of all have to think of the color blue. In a certain story a man owned a parrot who constantly squawked foul language. Somebody hearing this asked the owner why the parrot did this. The baffled owner replied: neither do I understand why he does this! Every day I expressly tell him not to say these words… bitter The above may strike us as a funny happening, but in practice it often is a bitter reality. It is the background of a discouraging struggle described in Romans 7 “…the evil that I am not willing, this I am putting into practice.” (7:19)

  • I will not …
  • I may not…
  • I can not…

These words reveals a struggle which causes many to feel depressed and hopeless. “A wretched man am I…” (7:24). Why is this? Paul contends that this is because of the weakness of the flesh (8:3), but also because of the law (>commands). It is evident that the words, “you shall not covet”, taken as command, in practice precisely stimulates and calls up covetousness (7:7-8). The more one is busy with what he may not and will not do, the more discouraging will be the results. However controversial may be the words within Christian circles, Paul’s statement: “the power of sin is the law” (1Cor.15:56), is, in practice, daily being confirmed. Solution! Is there a solution to this tragic situation? Yes, absolutely! In Romans 8 Paul exults that “for the spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus frees you from the law of sin and death” (8:2). On the one hand is there sin, which is being stimulated by the law, “you shall not…” However, God has placed an overpowering truth against it. Not a law that tells people what may not be done, but a message that makes known to him what God’s spirit is able to do! Herewith, our inability does not count, but HIS ability! The first situation frustrates, while the second, per definition, surpasses every expectation. So God changes the call for help “A wretched man am I”, to the victory shout, “Thanks be to GOD”! ——————————— translation: Peter Feddema

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