For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. (Romans 7:18-19 NASB)
Christ-followers are not perfect. They are just a little more honest about their situation. It's hard to admit that we've done something wrong and call it sin. It's even more humbling to realize that our sin has caused hurt not only in our lives but in the lives around us. It's worse yet when we realize that all our futile attempts to stop are not working. We can't seem to stop the cycle of sin, hurt, and pain...even though we want it all to stop.
The first time I heard someone say one of "those" words, I was working on a construction site. You know what words I'm talking about - the ones our parents never let us say or the lightning bolt would come down and strike us. Anyway, I heard a co-worker say one of those words and I was sure lightning was going to strike him down that instant. I waited. I watched. Nothing.
As time went on, it got easier and easier to listen to the language that was forbidden for me to speak. One day I was shocked again, though, when I heard one of those words. It struck me to the core because the voice speaking it was mine! I waited. I watched. No lightning.
Over time working with this man, I found it easier and easier to allow my language patterns to match his. When I finally got to the point that I wanted to stop...I couldn't. I struggled. I fought in my mind. The words still had a sneaky way of slipping out of my mind and through my mouth. I was stuck.
Sin does that to us. It gets easier and easier to do what we know to be wrong. We might even get to the point where we justify it in our minds and decide that it's not wrong. But we can't change the rules. We didn't make the game. No, we're just stuck breaking them...over...and over...and over again.