Overcoming Internal Conflict

For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. Romans 7:19-20 NIV

Conflict is part of the human experience; it can be internal or external. Conflict is also no respecter of persons; it will visit the young and the old. Children not yet two years old who are playing in the same area might want the same toy at the same time. They would both pull on that toy. Then one child would hit the other and the child who got hit would start to cry then, the other child would look on with a confused look. He would  wonder, why is he crying? That is an example of external conflict.

The conflict that the Apostle Paul talks about here is an example of internal conflict. Every individual has experienced some internal conflict at some time or another. Drivers have to decide what to do when the light is changing and they know that they will not get to the intersection before the light changes to red. The driver has to decide to slow down and wait or speed up and go through the intersection as the light changes. That is a serious internal conflict. The Apostle Paul said that he had the desire to do good, but the evil that he didn’t want to do, he kept on doing. He said, For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.” Verse 18. You want to do what is good and right but it’s not happening the way you want. You have good intentions, but it’s not enough.

So what stands in the way? Your sinful nature gets in your way. To do what’s good, you first have to do battle on the inside. You have to fight off what the Apostle Paul calls in Ephesians 4:31 NLT, evil behavior. You know what I mean, when you say things you shouldn’t say; when you are unkind to others. You have to fight against those desires if you want to do what’s right. Paul tried to do it by himself but had to acknowledge that sin was living in him.

Is this a hopeless battle? Is mankind doomed to keep on doing evil?  No! The Apostle Paul said, “For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;”   God’s law educates the heart. David said in Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”   Then like the Apostle you can say, “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”  verse 25.

Thought for Today: Friend, hide God’s word in your heart.

Have a blessed day and walk in faith and victory.

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