Someone once said that if you could kick the person most responsible for your problems, YOU wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week! Fact is, as much as I’d like to believe that most of my problems, challenges, and issues are caused by everyone and everything else, I’m to blame so, please STOP me! Paul, in Romans 7:18-25, relates that his biggest challenge in life is himSELF- that selfishness in all of us that seems to always go against the grain of the selflessness of Christ. He goes on to state that the only true victory over his SELF is through Jesus Christ. So, basically Paul is saying that only Jesus can STOP me!
Using STOP as an acronym for overcoming the ME in all of us, consider these principles:
Stop making excuses! Excuses only indicate how immature we are. Irresponsible thinking leads to irresponsible actions. There’s really no excuse for selfishness or sinfulness. Taking responsibility for both my attitude and my actions is the first step in how to STOP me!
Tell a mentor! I like to think of “mentors” as those people who have maturity because they’ve put on some significant mileage (experienced life) and have a proven substantive model (life experience). We all need a spiritual father, or in the case of a woman, a spiritual mother, that we can go to for sound, solid, sure advice. Think too, of a “father” or “mother” figure that fits this role because they are both biologically and spiritually of “age” to serve this purpose in your life. Sure, peers can be helpful, but for the most part, they’ve not made it past the point in life that you’re at! Holding mySELF accountable to a mentor is a great way to STOP me!
Obey God’s Word! Men too often ignore directions and women too often become paralyzed by them. Men can be too macho and women too emotional when it comes to the internal struggle that Paul details in Romans 7- this war between “what I want” and “what God wants!” Very often this struggle is the result of disobedience and the solution is to submit to what the Bible says is right. Easy to do? Not necessarily. But by obeying God’s Word I’m already set up to STOP me!
Persevere and don’t quit! Failure is never final- the only true failure is in not getting back up when you fall! Don’t make an excuse, dust yourself off, and do the right thing! It’s the only guaranteed way you can be a winner. You’re only down and out if you stay down and out, and yes, oftentimes, victory is only realized after you’ve waged the war. And like Paul you can say, “Thank God, Jesus Christ rescues me!” because he’s my only solution to how to STOP me!