Paul mentions himself 37 times in Romans 7:14-25.
I try, I can’t, I fail, I wish . . . We could join him couldn’t we! And when Paul calls himself wretched, isn’t there a part of us that says, “Oh, yeh!” We know. We’ve been there. We even have shirts with jokes about our failures:
My get up and go got up and went. My wife and I had words last night . . . but I didn’t get to use mine.
It’s not funny, though, not really, to be depressed or to squabble with a spouse. We laugh because it helps us not cry. It helps us feel less wretched.
But the misery will not go away by itself. We look around for a friend to help, and although a friend might listen and sympathize, really, what can another hurting person actually do to change me? We’re all alike, each carrying some type of misery, each wretched in his own way.
We each do things we knew better and never dreamed we would do, and we each carry around fear and painful memories from it. Like Paul.
And like Paul, we each can find the blessed victory he mentions just a line or two after bemoaning his wretchedness:
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.” Romans 8:1
Why does he say that? Because the “flesh” is just another way of saying the soul, the personality. It’s the part of us we know could be good, except it can’t, the part that weighs all the input and decides–decides wrong. It’s me, myself, and I; Mr. Do-by-self. The wretched one.
And the solution Paul found?
Christ Jesus. There is something about Him, something in Him, that is our great escape.
And any who actually want to unload their wretchedness need only let go of it, turn their backs on it.
Turn to Him.