Trusting yourself got you where you are. Trusting God gets you where you want to be.
Romans 7:18-20, NLT: I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
The author, Paul, writes about a struggle going on in his heart. He wants to be better. He wants to do what is right and healthy. He doesn’t want to do what’s wrong and unhealthy. But time after time after time, he chooses not good over good. He chooses the opposite of what he knows is best. And he asks, “Why is that?” The answer is sin. Sin is a word that comes with a lot of baggage. People hear the word and it’s like you’ve just tossed a thick blanket of guilt over them. Others hear the word sin and get defensive. “How dare you say I sin!” Others think, “Oh great, here we go. Time for some fire and brimstone preaching to scare people into acting a certain way.” But I think most people have a view of sin that’s just too small.
Sin isn’t simply something bad we do, it’s something bad that affects everything we do. Sin is a force in the world and in our hearts that keeps us from wanting God’s best. It’s the part of us that rebels against not only our maker, but also the good things we want for ourselves. We fail at loving those we care about and say we have a work problem or a temper problem, but really, we have a sin problem. We fail at getting our finances under control and say we have a spending problem or an income problem, but really we have a sin problem. Sin infects every choice we make and every good thing we try to do, and there’s nothing we can do about it. It makes us throw up our hands and say, “I don’t know why I do the things I do!” But thankfully, God knows our situation, and he has done everything about it. He gives us the power to overcome sin, and we access that power by trusting him. That’s why the Bible gives us this rich verse from the book of Proverbs.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5, NLT).
We trust him to forgive the sin of our past. We trust him to deal with the sin in our hearts. And we trust him to guide us toward his best in the future. Trusting yourself got you where you are. Trusting God gets you where you want to be.