“Life is not a bowl of cherries” so the saying goes. Whether we like cherries or not, most of us can certainly relate. Living on planet Earth at times can be very hard to handle. While we’d like
to find a culprit on which to place the blame for our problems, it is the least responsible and most ineffective attitude. Though Earth and those who dwell in it can be very inhospitable at times, the fundamental conflicts are within us. We are fallen, bent and broken inhabitants of a world which daily grows more cold and dark. Handicapped by sin and the flesh we can not independently become the people God created us to become.
There is more to sin than what most of us believe it to be. We must learn to think of sin as more than merely willful misbehavior. The presence of inherited sin in each one of us makes willful spiritual self-improvement an impossibility since the power of sin tirelessly works against our DIY moral development projects. In the end we will discover sin to be more potent than our will power.
What’s more, sin has an accomplice in its oppositional work. The flesh too is something more than the physical body. Flesh is the personal network of godless attitudes, beliefs, habits and priorities that serve to move us towards our own self-fulfillment without the need for God. And it is paradoxical in that, from the outside it can appear very moral, selfless, even religious. Honestly, DIY religion is not something that impresses God.
This is a universal reality: Sin and the flesh work in tandem within us to keep us away from the utter and lasting fulfillment and contentment that God has for us. Instead they offer the endless, exhausting treadmill of self-effort, prideful self-righteousness, and deprive us of peace, joy and the best that LIFE can offer.