I’m My Own Worst Enemy
1. I’m My Own Worst Enemy
I’ve been coaching for a while. I’m not a very good coach, but I want to be a positive impact in my community outside of the church and pulpit. Often, I see kids exceed and fail because of one issue: they get it into their heads that they’re messing up, and so each time at bat, each shot of the arrow, each play made in the field becomes worse because, in their minds, they’ve already decided they’re no good, and they’re going to mess up. The thing I’ve come to realize about this mentality is that, often, we don’t outgrow it.
I think we need to first examine ourselves and come to a logical conclusion: we’re our own worst enemy. We set it in our minds that we’re either “okay” where we’re at, and we settle, even though, deep down, we’re unhappy, or we keep damaging and convincing ourselves that this is what we deserve, we’re no good, we’re scum. Whether we pretend everything is okay, or we beat ourselves up, we destroy ourselves. We can’t fix ourselves, so we settle in to these bad habits.
What then is our solution? What can we do, and where is our hope? Go to the lover of your soul, the one who made and formed you, who knows you intimately, who can give you a new life and a new heart. Christ lived the life we could not. He alone is perfect, knowing we cannot be, and He will give you a new life, a new heart, a new name, and by His Spirit and His word, He will correct you. I’m my own worst enemy. That’s why Jesus came, and why I will follow Him; even if I fall and fail, I know His mercies are new every day.
What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.