There is not a person alive who can honestly say they have never not wanted to do something. Whether it be going to see family or going to work, there are activities that we just do not want to do.
Often we will end up doing the activity, as there can be negative consequences if we do not, but there are many activities that we do not perform, simply because we do not want to.
When was the last time you saw a homeless person on the side of the road looking for money? Did you avert your eyes as not to make eye contact with the person as you drove by? Did you justify to yourself that they were most likely going to use the money to buy alcohol so you were doing them a favor by not giving them money? Perhaps it was another excuse, like you wanted to help out but all you had was a twenty or larger.
Last month, I had a friend who has struggled with trying to remain celibate approach me to say they were going to hook up with an old friend and have sex. I asked her if she was wanting me to talk her out of it and she reply “No, unless you feel moved to do so”.
How many times have we put that condition out to God?
God, if you don’t want me to do X, send a sign. Otherwise I will assume it is ok.
It doesn’t matter that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Bible speaks against something and we will struggle with incredible guilt, we want to do what ever it is. It is the simple truth Christians often ignore, but we want to do things that feel good at the time.
At the time, I did not feel like going back through the speech about how bad she would feel after she had sex or God wants better for her than simple physical pleasure. I honestly did not want to have to muster the emotion strength to do it again, so I didn’t.
I told her that she already knows that would be said and that she should honestly do what she wanted to do. Christianity should be based on the voluntary submission to God and not the forced compulsion that usually comes from guilt and shame. She did not end up having sex as the guy disappeared, but she was not saved from the shame based on my action. Maybe my inaction allowed for God to demonstrate His power by making the temptation go away.
Regardless of what the outcome was, I did not feel like doing what I was supposed to do. I did not feel like being emotionally supportive to her during her struggle and I often wonder what kind of guilt I would have shared in based not on her actions, but my lack of action.
I want to share more stories like this, as everyday life is where people are struggling.