I have always read Romans with a desire to finish the book with a firm commitment to live exactly the way Paul describes for the new believer. Doing this I would give up following the laws I learned from church: go to church each Sunday and go to the other services which are held, pray for each meal, read my Bible daily, never use bad words, don’t think immoral thoughts, don’t get greedy and the list could go on and on. On the flip side of this type of living is what Christ wanted done. He said to abandon the laws and embrace living in GRACE. In so doing, I am to give up living “because I have to” to living “because I want to”.

As I am reading today’s scripture and reliving my life I find all of kinds of inner battles. If I lived by the law and didn’t follow Grace I would look good I thought to man and I wouldn’t look soft and wimpy like I interrupted grace or had it ridiculed in me when I was a boy growing up. My definition of grace was what a weak-willed person was like. This was driven by fears of not looking tough.

A few years ago I was told by one of our Celebrate Recovery men that he thought I was a pansy when we first had met. I was too forgiving and too nice. If I had been “tough” I would never have allowed myself to be used as I was growing up and I’d stood up to my dad. However, over time he decided I was tougher than most men he knew for I would tell my story and stand up for right living. This was what I wanted to hear, but my inner voice would tell me I was still the wimp.

This living by GRACE is something Satan will throw in the face of man as long as we are alive in this human flesh. Somehow I want to help others see the strength in living in GRACE. For in GRACE is found the freedom Christ offers to each of us.

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