Why can’t I stop?

“I just can’t help myself.”  we have all bailed out of acknowledging weakness with that stock phrase. Sometimes it is as innocent as a desperate dieter trying to walk past a piece of fresh blueberry pie. Often, though, it is far more dangerous. An individual frantically tries to break out of the prison of pills or the dungeon of drugs. Someone else is willingly robbed by the one-armed bandit of gambling. Another tries to swim out of the cesspool of pornography, only to find the current of erotica a deadly undertow that undermines marriage and family and even self-esteem. You are not alone. Your plea has already been heard on the pages of Scripture. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?

Realize that no human being can pull himself or herself out of such peril. The Bible accurately portrays the frantic efforts. I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Why can’t I stop? Because I cannot, not by my own strength or efforts.

Yet do not despair. Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord! Jesus means Savior, and he can pull us up out of addictions and rescue us from ourselves. Jesus loves you enough to send concerned family or friends to support you. Jesus loves you enough to provide the blessing of professional medical help and therapy. Jesus extends his hand of healing in so many ways. Jesus loves you enough to hear the desperation in your prayers and quietly promise you, If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come!

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