Feel Like… an Apostle?

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
(Romans 7:15-20 ESV)

Can anybody else relate to Paul? I’ve been thinking about this passage a lot since a recent youth worship service at church. The praise band broke out a rendition of Monster by Skillet. I played bass.

If you are not familiar with their music, Skillet is a modern-metal Christian band. As such, their lyrics tend to be a little obscure. One needs to pay close attention to catch their lyrical content, because it is not always clear what they are saying. When you can understand their singer, the listener still has to fill in some blanks to get their meaning. Not a good choice for all, but they provide a hard rock alternative for Christian metalheads or new Christians that are metal fans. (Music editorial ends here.)

I am very careful about the lyrical content of the songs sung in our church. I feel that words mean things. The lyrics to songs impact us in a deeper way, because music is a force that penetrates to our innermost beings. I have regretted the times I have been lackadaisical in this, because when I let my guard down, we as a church have the potential to sing specials or other music that does not correspond with Scripture.

This song intrigued me. Here are the lyrics to the first verse and the chorus…

The secret side of me, I never let you see
I keep it caged but I can’t control it
So stay away from me, the beast is ugly
I feel the rage and I just can’t hold it

It’s scratching on the walls, in the closet, in the halls
It comes awake and I can’t control it
Hiding under the bed, in my body, in my head
Why won’t somebody come and save me from this, make it end?

I feel it deep within, it’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I’ve become, the nightmare’s just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster

(© 2009 Atlantic Recording Corporation)

Sound familiar? I read that as a paraphrase of what Paul was talking about in Romans 7. We all have a sin nature, lurking in the shadows, and sometimes it feels like we could lose control at any moment. Thankfully…

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
(1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV)

We all feel like a monster sometimes. Such is the Christian life here on Earth.