This battle is an emotionally costly one we will fight throughout our lives. Understanding the emotional cost, the root cause of the battle and how we can overcome it is key to a purpose-filled life.
Reread verses 15-23 above. What is the most common word in those verses?
• What does this signify to you?
• Everyone studying this message has experienced times like Paul is describing. When you have experienced turmoil such as this, what has been your focus? Would a different focus help you to get through these trying times?
Read verse 15. What doesn’t Paul understand?
• What do we call the emotion Paul is describing? Share examples of when you have observed this in yourself or others.
• What triggers these kinds of thoughts?
In verse 16, what proves to Paul that he agrees with the very laws that he is breaking?
• When we break laws we know we shouldn’t, what do we typically feel? Describe some examples of this from society.
According to verse 17, who or what is actually doing these evil things?
• If the battle remains unchecked it will manifest itself as habitual compulsions and addictions. We tend to think of these terms in specific ways but there are all kinds of compulsions and addictions. One is described in the children’s book Frog and Toad, by Arnold Loebel. Frog and Toad gorge themselves on cookies, continually telling themselves that they should stop but don’t. What are other examples of compulsions and addictions?
• What is sin?
How does Paul describe himself in verse 18a?
• What kinds self-condemning things do people say about themselves?
What can’t Paul make himself do in verses 18b-20?
• Describe times when you have felt this kind of frustration.
Paul wants to be God’s willing servant in what part of his being? See verse 23.
Discipleship – Discipleship is the process of growing to become more like Christ. How can the pursuit of discipleship help us to overcome confusion, guilt, shame, compulsion and addictions, self-condemnation, frustration, discouragement, and despair? Pair up and discuss just one very small area you would like to grow in and share ideas for how to accomplish this growth.