Stuck Like a Roomba

Background Story: The Apostle Paul wrote the book of Romans as a letter to the church in Rome.

Read Romans 7:12-25

I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Big Idea: We can set up barriers in our life to help us not get stuck in the same sin pattern.

We have this roomba vacuum cleaner at our house. I love it except for one thing. It always gets stuck in the same corner of our family room. I go rescue it and then 10 minutes later, it’s stuck again in that same place. I get frustrated thinking, “why can’t it be smart and not keep getting stuck in the same place.” But the ironic thing is…we can all be the same way. In our hearts, our desire is to follow Christ and be in relationship with Him, yet we can find ourselves returning time and time again to the same sin getting stuck in the same patterns. Thankfully we are not alone and we see that the Apostle Paul struggled with the same thing. So what can we do to help ourselves to not keep getting stuck?

Put up a barrier! To keep that roomba from getting stuck in the same place, the easiest solution is to put a barrier up. Just by putting a pillow in front of that spot, it keeps the roomba from returning to that same stuck place. How can we put up barriers in our life to keep us from returning to the same sin?

1- Accountability: Confessing your sin struggle to a youth pastor, christian friend, or small group for their support is a great first barrier. We successfully navigate this Christian walk in relationship with other believers. Giving someone access to your struggle allows them to check in with you and help you stay focused on your goal to not return to this sin pattern.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

2- Limit Exposure: If you are battling with a sin, you have to use wisdom to limit your exposure to that sin. For me, food addiction has always been a struggle. When I feel the battle raging inside, it’s not a great idea for me to turn on the Food Network and watch Bobby Flay. In the same way, if pornography is a struggle, maybe move your computer out into the open or keep your phone out of your room. We have to set ourselves up for success and use wisdom to give ourselves the best opportunity to make the right choice.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

3- Cut It Off: Sometimes we have to make drastic changes to not continue to return to the same sin pattern. It might be walking away from a group of friends who keep taking you back to that sin. It might be getting rid of a video game system, quitting a club or online group, or deleting social media. Sometimes, a complete cutting off is required.

“If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” Matthew 5:29-30

4- Memorize Scripture and Pray: The battle over sin first begins with a thought of doubt or excuse… “Is this sin really that bad? No one is perfect.” Satan wants for us to minimize sin and compare our struggles to our peers around us. The problem is, as believers we don’t compare ourselves with others but with the holiness and perfection of God. If you are battling a sin, put God’s word everywhere and memorize it! Put it as your phone background, on your mirror, on your fridge, on your computer, and everywhere that you struggle with your specific temptation. God ALWAYS gives you a way out and provides you the power to run away if you pray and ask!

“Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

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