If you’ve ever felt frustrated by your own behavior, I understand. A few days ago I lost it as I drove across town. While traffic will probably never be my favorite thing, I’m really making an effort not to growl at the other drivers. J But apparently all it takes is one elderly driver scooting along at 10 m.p.h. beneath the speed limit, and I’m toast.
And that makes me sad.
My heart desperately wants to do the right thing. I’d love to not even notice a slow driver in front of me. Yet time and time again I disappoint God and myself.
For I do not understand my own actions—I am baffled, bewildered. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe… (Romans 7:15)
Maybe you can relate. Maybe traffic doesn’t make you bonkers, but sassy kids rev you up (count me in on that one, too). Or perhaps your cranky neighbor drives you to the brink, or maybe it’s finances that make you go nuts.
Our bewildering failures can make us feel like, well, bewildered failures.
For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds that I do not desire to do are what I am ever doing. (Romans 7:18)
But I want you to know something. Jesus loves bewildered failures like us. And when we ask, He not only forgives us, but He gives us strength to try again—and actually improve and make progress.
Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)
These verses don’t mean we should slack off and not try at all. They mean that when we try and fail, Jesus understands. He enables us to do what we clearly cannot do without Him. And He has won a victory that we could never hope to win.
The next time we fail, let's ask God to remind He that He still loves us anyway, and that through His grace and strength, we can improve.
And pssst! I’m asking the Lord to tattoo these truths across my heart, so that the next time I’m in my car behind a senior citizen driving 10 m.p.h. under the speed limit, I won’t even notice.