A friend is struggling in her first year of homeschooling, feeling defeated by her failure to be that perfectly calm, happy mom who cheerfully controls her brood as they eagerly learn all she has prepared to teach them. This lady is a myth! Not a person! We are humans, and we fail. We are sinners who know the good we should do and do not do it. We yell at the kids, complain about our lives, and brood over our lack. We are stuck in Romans 7…frustrated by our inability to do the impossible and feeling defeated.
The chapter doesn’t end focused on that frustration because it brings in a Rescuer: Jesus Christ.
Romans 8 goes on to explain why we get so frustrated with trying to be perfect. We can’t because we don’t have the ability or the strength. Anything we do on our own is inadequate. The frustration comes because we have this crazy idea that we can always be the perfect person who never makes a mistake. We need to get over ourselves and stop this self-centered focus on our inadequacies.
Romans 8 is a chapter that is worthy of memorization, because the process will force you to really look at what is being said. It is kind of like God giving us a new hard drive and rebooting our lives to be radically different by being strong in our weaknesses. We don’t do it, God does it. We are promised that all things will work together for our good…even those failures. Even the times we yell. Even the piles we didn’t get around to dealing with.
When your children see you fail, that is a time to show them the hope you have in Jesus. The problem isn’t that we fail, it is that we don’t show how to deal with failure. I don’t need perfect friends, I need friends who share how God has helped them in their failures so I can see what God says in His word about sin and how Jesus provided the way to be cleansed of it.
It’s that old bathroom illustration again…if we need a bathroom in our home, we are acknowledging that we produce filth that needs to be flushed away and that we get filthy during the day and need to be cleansed. 1 John makes it clear that Christians sin but are not comfortable with sinning, and that confessing our sins cleanses us. Think about it……
Pretending to be perfect in all you do is like pretending you don’t need a bathroom in your house.