Can I Come In?

Little five year old boys don’t usually want to play with girls putting on makeup – unless it is boring because there are no other boys around. That changes everything. At least it did for Jude, my grandson. My four granddaughters had locked themselves in the... read more

My Mother’s Christmas Wish

Devotion: When I was a little girl, the number one question I asked all my family before December 25th was “What do you want for Christmas?” I asked my sisters and my brother, my mother and my father. It was a huge question for me because my funds were limited to a small... read more

The Candy Corn Reminder

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Romans 7:15 (NIV)

There is a small bowl full of candy corn sitting on my coffee table. It’s almost always there. I keep it as a reminder of something that happened to me as a small child and as a reminder of my behavior as an adult.
I remember it like it was yesterday. My parents played cards with several couples and we had gone with them to the home of a family we had not met before. As we were sitting on their sofa in the living room, we spotted a bowl of candy corn on the coffee table. That was a delicacy to us and one that we seldom had at our house.
The daughter in this family frowned as she watched us dip into the bowl again and again, since we knew that we would probably not get another opportunity to eat candy corn for a long time.
We must have eaten almost all the sweet candy because she suddenly grabbed the bowl and shouted to her parents in the other room: “Those kids are eating ALL the candy! By the handfuls, Mom! It’s almost gone!” and gave us a look of ‘what is wrong with you’ that mortified us all.
I remember thinking as my face flushed with embarrassment that I would never treat anyone like that – ever.
Fast forward to my being a parent and buying my children a package of 12 juice boxes. I had just enough money to get them and told my kids to make them last all week. When I came in the kitchen about an hour later and saw all 12 empty boxes, I blew up. “You kids drank ALL the juices at one time! Every single one! Now it’s all gone!” and gave them the ‘what is wrong with you’ look. I am sure they were mortified.
Suddenly, I was not looking at 12 empty juice boxes but instead I envisioned a nearly empty bowl of candy corn and felt the sting of hurtful words and the weight of embarrassment.
The very thing I hate, I end up doing. That’s what Paul is saying in today’s Key Scripture in Romans 7. I know what is right. I know what I should do. But instead, I do the very thing that I hate.
Reading further in verses 18 and 19 of Romans, Paul states that he has the desire to do what is good and right but he just doesn’t do it. Even Paul struggled with the sinful nature that urges us to ignore the right thing to do and instead to do whatever we want.
There is an ongoing battle between our sinful natures and God’s will for our lives.
How thankful I am for the cross and for a Savior whose grace and mercy call me to ask for forgiveness and another opportunity to be Jesus to the world.
Let us keep on praying, confessing our mistakes and trying again. He who is faithful will never leave us. And His grace covers candy corn and juice boxes.

Father, how many times have I said I would never treat someone a certain way, and yet I have. Forgive me and help me to focus on you and your will. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Have you ever seen or overheard something and thought “I would never do that” but later found yourself doing the very thing you said you would never do?

Find something, like my bowl of candy corn, to place on your coffee table as a reminder of Romans 7:15.

When you find yourself, as Paul did, doing the opposite of what you want to do, ask the Lord for forgiveness and ask the Holy Spirit to redirect you to God’s will.

Romans 7:15 (NIV) “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

Romans 12:9 (NIV) “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”

Romans 7:18 -19 (NIV) “. . . For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.”
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Copyright 2013  Nancy E. Hughes