Living Above The Rules

I hate exercising.  I love getting exercise and being active. But exercising for the sake of exercising? Yuck.

I know I should, and goodness knows I need it but I cannot bring myself to keep at it for even a couple of weeks.  I look at myself in the mirror and tell myself, “I really need to start doing some sit-ups.”  But I don’t.  I run up a flight of stairs and wheeze to myself, “I have got to start jogging!” But I haven’t.  Even though I know it’s what I should do I don’t have the ability make myself do it . . . except once.

When we first moved to Benalto I heard about a plan to begin a Senior Men’s Football team in Sylvan Lake.  Immediately my ears perked up. I was in my early 40’s and knew this would be my last shot (and a very long one at that) to ever play football again. All of a sudden I found myself eager to exercise.  For four months I worked up a sweat in the basement doing crunches, and push-ups, and squats and a few things I don’t even know the name for.  And get this: I enjoyed it!

Now as it turned out they just couldn’t pull all the necessary pieces together to get the team off the ground and had to abandon the idea.  In reality for me it was likely a blessing or I may well be writing this from a wheel chair. But it wasn’t too long after that announcement was made that I began finding excuses to not go down to the basement.

In a very limited way this is a picture of the two ways Romans 7 describes of approaching life. The first way it calls the law or written code.  It’s trying to live by a list of rules, like the 10 commandments.  You may find this surprising by Romans says this approach results in spiritual death.  As long as it’s an external motivation telling us we shouldn’t do something, we want it all the more and become a slave to sin.

The alternative is called the new way of the Spirit.  That’s referring to God’s Spirit within us causing us to actually desire that which is holy and righteous.  Living this way produces results that will echo literally forever. Sound good? It only comes when you by faith accept Jesus’ death as your own and submit to his resurrected life to live through you.

Slave to sin or slave to God.  Those are your only choices. Trust me, the latter is infinitely better.

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About David Berg

I live in a small town in Alberta, Canada. I pastor a small Baptist church and also work half-time on a local seed farm. It has been more than 25 years that I have been married to a most amazing and beautiful lady whose name is Wendy. Together we have three boys, and two beautiful daughter-in-laws. View all posts by David Berg

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