15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For 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. 20Now 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.
Why is it that we struggle so much to do the right thing? Why is it so easy to see what others could/should do to help their circumstances when often the advice we would give is advice that we, too, should take?
Our lives are so full of 'stuff' that we often lose the blessing. We think that the solution to our problems is more stuff, more storage for the stuff we have, more money to buy more stuff...it never ends. We spend so much time and energy wanting stuff, getting stuff, taking care of stuff, finding the stuff we lost. And we miss the whole point of life.
Our daughter, Becca, went on a mission trip to Ecuador this summer. She was never very materialistic to start with, but what she saw there really changed her focus. She understands that the things of this world are temporary and for the most part useless. She saw very large families living in one to two room huts with no air conditioning, no running water, no cell phones, computers, televisions, sofas, rugs, you name it. As I look around the room I'm in, they probably didn't have much that I have but the bed, and then it wasn't the nice soft one we have. She learned that for less than $10, she could actually save a childs life...and she did.
How often do I toss $10 around like it is worthless? Oh, I don't think I'm too wasteful, but honestly, I'll spend $10 on a few 12-packs of soda and think nothing of it.
I clutter my home with things that may be pretty or useful, but they are meaningless. And yet I get so attached to them that I rearrange my home to be sure that I have room to keep them -- I'll give up room to relax and enjoy my family, sometimes even room to walk freely, so that I don't have to give up some stuff. At the moment, we can't get our cars in the garage because it is full of useless stuff I can't seem to give away. And in the process I've given away my peace and I'm failing in my stewardship to God.
Excuse me -- I think I need to go declutter.