Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Waking Up the Beast

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15, NIV 1984).

I was checking the vital signs of one of my patients from my home computer just prior to morning rounds this week. I saw that her BP had dropped to 77/45 and knew she was in trouble---so I skipped breakfast and rushed to the hospital. This patient had been admitted many months ago and I had been struggling to pull her through a complex disease. Presently she was my only patient in this particular hospital and I had been seeing her daily for two months. As I got out of the car in the doctor’s parking lot at 6 that morning, I began to think, “At least when she dies, I won’t have to spend an extra 30 minutes coming here every morning.”

Have you ever had your “It’s-All-About-Me” monster wake up when you least expect it? Even in the midst of this great tragedy for a person I have loved and poured myself out for over two years, It’s-All-About-Me woke up, pulled up a chair and took over the conversation. What is wrong with me?

I shouldn’t be surprised; it’s happened with my wife, my kids, my friends and my office staff. I’m not right---but we know that from Scripture. In this way I am much like Paul, who did what he didn’t want and couldn’t do what he wanted (Romans 7:14-20).

So what’s the good in this world of being a Christian if my human nature still wins at times? God knows:

With Christ living in us

1. We recognize the beast. In fact, I suspect the closer we draw to Christ, the more we are able to recognize the sin that lies within us. How else could Paul see himself as the chief of all sinners? With Christ living in us

2. We can tell the wakened monster to go back to bed. We are not enslaved by It’s-All-About-Me any longer and Christ-in-us has the power to tell him to shut up and go back to sleep. With Christ living in us

3. We know that in the end we’ve won. As Paul said after lamenting his continued sinfulness, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God---through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25, NIV 1984). We have been delivered, we are being delivered and we will be delivered completely.

So, when It’s-All-About-Me rises up and takes over next time, do like I did in that parking lot. Tell God you are sorry, thank Him for the victory and send the monster back to bed.

Dear Father,
Forgive me and let me know that I am free in you.

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