We don’t always do what we intend to do. In their vile hit “What It’s Like” Everlast sings about a beggar who never pictured himself begging; and a young girl considering an abortion who never dreamed that the man she’d been dreamin’ of would have dumped her when she got pregnant. They offer this rhyme that describes what all of us would likely admit we’ve seen with our own eyes and heard with our own ears:
I've seen a rich beg
I've seen a good man sin
I've seen a tough man cry
I've seen a loser win
And a sad man grin
I heard an honest man lie
Can you be a good man and sin? Can you be an honest woman and lie? Yes, you can. If that doesn’t describe you, it describes someone you know. Christians have a mindset for doing the things the Spirit desires, but we have bodies that wage a war against our wills. And sometimes, our bodies win a battle.
Thank God that he looks at my “want tos” instead of my win/loss ratio. There is no condemnation, Paul says, for the person of faith – the person who because of their trust in Jesus has decided to live for him.
Don’t beat yourself up because your decision hasn’t led to sinlessness. Don’t beat anybody else up because they don’t have it all right either. There’s no doubt that you will see some growth in your walk with Christ, but you will always see sin in your life, too. And there will always be sin there that you don’t see. The ultimate difference isn’t that you’ve got it right. The ultimate difference, the difference that brings “no condemnation,” is that the Spirit inside you keeps you spiritually alive despite your acts that used to lead to death. The difference in you isn’t you; it’s the Holy Spirit. Give God the glory. That’s Life at Work!