What Is Wrong with Me?

February 15, 2021

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 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. Romans 7:15, 18-19 NIV

Can you identify with Paul? I surely can. I can’t count the number of times I told myself, “I will NEVER do that again. I know it’s immature and unhelpful,” yet in the moment I went right ahead and did the thing I knew I would regret. Or how about this one? You are in a conversation and a thought comes to your head, maybe confidential information you shouldn’t share or negative things that are hurtful. Yet unbelievably that is YOUR voice you hear saying the things that should never be said, and you know it. You even promised yourself you would not say them. Each one of us could quickly come up with at least a dozen scenarios where we know far better than we do. 

Truth be told, we even want to do better than we do. Sometimes the things we do have strained or even broken relationships or have given us another price to pay that is nothing less than agonizing. Other times others haven’t known of our failures, but we lose self-respect, and we know that we were made to do better than this. Why do we keep on failing? We inwardly wail, “What is wrong with me?”

As Marilyn Vancil shares in her book, it’s because we all have a Self to Lose and a Self to Find. Paul said it and Jesus said it. And when we pay attention to the ups and downs of our lives and best intentions, we know it too. From the beginning of life and experience, we have scrambled to get control, security, and success. Like Adam and Eve in the garden, we have believed we are the one who knows best about us and our needs. We have believed that we know the best way to get our needs met, and so we have mostly subconsciously patched together a strategy for reaching those goals. It is self-protective but ends up hurting us and keeping us small. 

Jesus wants us to have life overflowing and abundant (John 10:10). Something has to go for that to happen. It’s that old self. You can choose to let go and let Jesus help you find the self He created you to be. 

  • Pray: Dear Jesus, in these next few weeks I want to cooperate with You to find the life that was planned for me from the beginning. Help me discover and own the things that hold me back, then let go of them. I know that is where the joyful life is found. Amen.