Will Power Alone Never Works

In J. Heinrich Arnold’s book Freedom form Sinful Thoughts, he states that “It is impossible to defeat one’s sinful nature by will power alone, because the will is never wholly free, but bent this way and that by conflicting emotions and other forces at work on it.” He also reminds the reader that Saint Paul speaks of this in Romans 7:15-17. “What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I concur that the law is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.” So what does Arnold offer as a solution to this sinful nature? He states “…as long as we try to conquer evil by sheer will power, evil will get the better of us. When the will and imagination are at war, the imagination gains the upper hand without exception. Yet as soon as we give ear to that innermost longing of the heart that cries out for Jesus, the evil in us will retreat. And if we trust in this deeper will and pray “Not my will, but your will Jesus. Your purity is greater than my impurity; your generosity will overcome my envy; your love will triumph over my hatred”, it will gradually subside all together.”

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