Friday, April 27, 2012

Tell Me Your Story

Romans 6:17.18 (NIV 1984)
17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.
18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Romans 6 (AMP)
17 But thank God, though you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient with all your heart to the standard of teaching in which you were instructed and to which you were committed.
18 And having been set free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action).

Thank God! Literally.

Did you notice the opening to verse seventeen: But thanks be to God, that though you used to be slaves to sin …?

When I was struggling with the eating disorder I discussed in previous posts, I couldn’t imagine ever being free from the constant hunger and anger of not being “allowed” to eat. Along with the behavior associated with anorexia, I also fell into immorality due to extreme loneliness and “needing to be held.” Ten years ago, I was hungry, angry, and sexually immoral. Thankfully, I was able to break free from all of that because of God’s great mercy!

But I certainly wasn’t sin-free. Several years later, after marrying my wonderful husband, Bert, I discovered I had other nasty sinful habits. So almost six years ago, I found out I was critical, judgmental, and selfish. Again, thank God, I began the process of being transformed by His grace.

Almost two years ago, I began writing for this blog. But it wasn’t until I disciplined myself to take the time to memorize the verses, did I experience again a dramatic change in my behavior. So for the last several months, I’m finally becoming more loving and less demanding of others to make my life better! (I can hear all the Berts out there saying, thank God!)

How different are you from the person you were ten years ago? Six years ago? Even three month ago?

What are you no longer enslaved to? I really hope I get some comments on this. It’s exciting to see the changes God has brought about, isn’t it?

Go, God!

When we’re no longer under bondage of a bad or sinful habit, we are free to live the life God has planned for us. We’re free to fulfill His purpose for us which results in amazing peace and joy.

Let’s continue pursuing Him and His ways as we persevere in resisting sin. He is eager to help us!

In the meanwhile
     • What sin or bad habits have you been set free from?

     • How has it changed your life? Your legacy?

     • Have others lives been changed because of what God has done in your life?


  1. I believe that we have to want to change bad enough and desire to surrender that sin, to cooperate with God, who then He gives us the power to get it done. We honestly can't change by ourselves and have lasting change - it is the power of God in us that makes that possible. In the last several weeks alone, I have seen an old critical attitude change for the better because I knew I could not continue in this sin if I wanted to see a change in the way others treated me if I always had an attitude toward them. Why was I so blind for so long? I guess I had to get tired of myself. But when I allowed God to get involved, things started happening for the better and it seemed so easy. In looking back, I know that I was not only hurting others, but myself and especially my relationship with the Lord. And yes, I do thank God that He never gives up on us! (It is not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord. (Zech.4:6)!

  2. Hello, MJ. It’s good to hear from you again! You’re right. I’m convinced we have to hate sin and its consequences, more than we love whatever the “pay-off” the sin provides. Do you know what I mean? But I must be honest, MJ, that often when I REALLY want to quit a behavior, it’s still a long, hard “walking-it-out-with-Jesus” process for me! I’m not sure why, but most of things dealing with attitudes, etc. seem to be the hardest for me. But when I see progress, my heart leaps with joy. (And so does Bert’s!)

    1. I agree . . . it is a long process but I think all of the trying to do it myself helps beforehand because it proves that I can't do it myself. Then, when I allow God's grace to empower me it goes faster. I still have a long way to go, and I hope I didn't imply that I've got this one nailed - because I don't. But I do see progress and everyone is happier for it! Sheryl, thank you for your insight and for doing such a great, thoughtful job with this blog!

  3. MJ, it encourages me to know I’m not alone in how long the process is for me! However, I am so excited for you, MJ, (and for me) that we are seeing real progress. Let’s keep on praying for each other, okay? I appreciate your very encouraging comments. You have always “been there” for me. Thank you, MJ. Keep in touch. I get emails telling me the comments from others help them, too.

  4. I think the thing to remember is exactly what Jesus taught us in that it was the "inner-us" that was going to be the greater difficulty. I think of the rich young ruler after telling Jesus... "I've done all these things since my youth." Yet that whatever inside the man just knew there was more than just doing those outer things. Notice too that Jesus didn't tell the man... "NO YOU HAVE NOT!!!! No man can go without doing these things! Instead Jesus made it clear to him that the outward things were things we're not supposed to do and truth be told we all know it. But if you want to be perfect... we've some inner stuff we've got to deal with. Sell what you have, give it to the poor and come, follow me.

    He hit the man down inside... that place where he wanted outside to do what was right but inside... he sure did love his stuff and to walk away from that... even for the price of eternal life? He walked away from life and back to his stuff.

    Paul teaches us the same in this section of Romans. Chapters 6 and 7... leading us to out of the chapter 7 mindset of bondage and into the chapter 8 life of freedom.

    1. I appreciate the time you spent visiting the blog. Your insights are indeed challenging. And you’re right: He deals mostly with heart issues (motives, intentions, etc.) to get to our core. I’m glad He does that because I ultimately want to be exactly how He designed me to be. Thank you for your comment!

  5. Sheryl, I had to think quite some time about this one. I try to spend most of my time in the "now", looking for the future. I know I have so far to go, but I desire more than anything else to be a faithful representative of the King whom I love.

    I can see the encouragement to be found in occasionally considering how the Lord has led and changed us so far. The big thing that the Lord has led me through is a great refining of my thought patterns. He is still working with me, too, but I have found so much peace where He has broken through and taught me to focus on Him and His great love for both myself and others--including constantly recognizing His control over the events and circumstances of my life.

    God is good. He is faithful. He will go on completing the work that He has started in me and you and each of His faithful children. Praise Him!

    Sheila :)

  6. Amen, Sheila! I rejoice knowing He has not finished His work in me. I, too, see and appreciate what He has already accomplished; and look forward to even more growth and maturity in Him.

    Thank you for visiting the blog and for commenting again, Sheila. I appreciate you.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...