I think that the most painful reminder of my humanity is my inability to completely overcome my flesh. As a human, I know that I am imperfect; I know that I will never be able to stop sinning. As a Christian I know that God did not promise perfection, nor did he promise ease in life (in fact, He promised the opposite). This is a daily, nay, constant reminder of the fact that there has to be something more than what we are currently experiencing.
In Romans, Paul discusses this in such a beautiful manner. He wrestles with his humanity and his inability to stop sinning. He understands that, in the end and while still human, flesh wins.
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. -Romans 7:14-16 (emphasis mine)
The more that I think about it, this idea of sin all boils down to selfishness. There isn’t a single sin in my life (and I would argue anyone’s life) that can’t be summed up by selfishness. My selfishness looks out for one thing and one thing only: my own interest. Selfishness makes a person ugly and unappealing inside and out. Selfishness leaves a person empty, alone and hopeless, yet in the midst of it, selfishness promises instant gratification previously unknown.
How do we live with this kind of selfishness that consumes our lives? How do we look ourselves in the mirror and not vomit at the sight? Why are we not disgusted with ourselves day in and day out?
Truthfully, we should be. An awareness of how far we have fallen should leave us feeling nothing but repulsed by our very being, but we can’t live like that. We cannot live our lives hating ourselves, which is exactly why Christ entered the picture.
Flesh doesn’t really win. Flesh never really wins. Flesh lost that day on the cross when the sky turned black and the curtain was torn, yet we continue to live our lives as if we are powerless over our flesh. Granted, we, in and of ourselves, are powerless, but that isn’t the point. The point is that we don’t have to be powerless. We can win. We can be free from our flesh and even when we aren’t, even when flesh does win, the victory still belongs to Christ.