Battling the self within…

One of tomorrow’s texts, Romans 7:15-25a, contains Paul’s self-revelation of the battle within. Like all of us, he so often fails to achieve the high ideals that he’s sold on. Woe is him! But it is his faith in Christ that rescues him from despair.

Nevertheless, the reality Paul describes readily attracts the label “hypocrites” upon those who seek to follow the Way.  Why? In the eyes of some critics I have heard, it’s because followers can’t ever hope to live up to the kind of selfless love that Jesus inspires. Funny, I thought the word had more to do  with its base meaning – “actor” thus “someone who pretends” they are something they are not.

I see Paul and most followers of my acquaintance doing the exact opposite – they are giving us the real deal – not some pious showmanship. The faith in Jesus that Paul says rescues him from despair is not some magic bullet either. It’s hard work focusing attention and awareness on what the desert guides of the third century of the Church called logismoi (literally “self-talk”). Continual focus on the call of Jesus helps us to discern, question and challenge the “self-talk” that leads to multiple defeat.

Whether we are hypocrites within or without the Church, such self-attention is indispensable firepower in the constant self-battles we face.

Published by wonderingpilgrim

Not really retired but reshaped and reshaping. Now a pilgrim at large ready to engage with what each day brings.

One thought on “Battling the self within…

  1. Fabulous post! I love Paul and all he stands for. We are fundamentally flawed, but if we listen to discern what God’s path is and try earnestly to follow, things will work out for the good. We so need a very human leader: not a role model, but one of us, who battles their faults in the same way as we do. Paul was so perfectly the man for the job.


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