Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit, on the things of the spirit.—Rom. 8:5.
Some might imagine that this is a contrast between those who are not in the truth and those who are, between those who are not Christians and those who are. However, Paul was writing to “those who are in Rome as God’s beloved ones, called to be holy ones.” (Rom. 1:7) Thus, Paul was contrasting Christians who walked according to the flesh with Christians who walked according to the spirit. He linked “living according to the flesh” with “the sinful passions” that were then “at work in [their] bodies.” (Rom. 7:5) So when speaking of those who “set their minds on the things of the flesh,” Paul was referring to people who are ruled by or focused on their desires and leanings as imperfect humans. In the main, these are ones who follow their cravings, impulses, and passions, whether sexual or otherwise. w16.12 2:5, 7
Happy is the one whose transgression is pardoned.—Ps. 32:1.
Some anxiety may be caused by a person’s past actions or failings. At times, King David felt that his ‘errors loomed over his head.’ He admitted: “My anguished heart makes me groan aloud.” (Ps. 38:3, 4, 8, 18) In that situation, what was the wise thing for David to do? What did he do? He trusted in Jehovah’s mercy and forgiveness. (Ps. 32:2, 3, 5) At other times, you may become anxious about the present. For instance, when David wrote Psalm 55, he feared for his life. (Ps. 55:2-5) Nevertheless, he did not allow anxiety to destroy his confidence in Jehovah. David made his problems a subject of fervent prayer, but he also understood the value of taking practical steps to deal with the cause of the anxiety. (2 Sam. 15:30-34) Learn a lesson from David. Instead of allowing anxiety to overwhelm you, take what steps you can to deal with the situation and then confidently leave matters in Jehovah’s hands. w16.12 3:14, 15
I have sinned against Jehovah.—2 Sam. 12:13.
David accepted correction from Jehovah’s representative, the prophet Nathan. David also prayed to Jehovah, confessing his sins and expressing a sincere desire to be restored to Jehovah’s favor. (Ps. 51:1-17) Instead of being paralyzed by guilt, David learned from his mistakes. Indeed, he never repeated those serious sins. Years later, he died faithful, his record of integrity firmly sealed in Jehovah’s memory. (Heb. 11:32-34) What can we learn from David’s example? If we fall into serious sin, we need to repent sincerely and seek Jehovah’s forgiveness. We must confess our sins to him. (1 John 1:9) We also need to approach the elders, who can offer us spiritual help. (Jas. 5:14-16) By availing ourselves of Jehovah’s arrangements, we show that we trust in his promise to heal and forgive us. Thereafter, we do well to learn from our mistakes, move forward in our service to Jehovah, and look to the future with confidence.—Heb. 12:12, 13. w17.01 1:13, 14