Christians Who Fail to Do

I have been away from this blog for a little while now and I am finally starting to feel the draw to come back and write.  I believe I have stated before that Christians have a responsibility to share aspects of their lives with other Christians in order to help them know they are not alone in their struggles.  The biggest struggle I have been dealing with is “not wanting to”.

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.

Porn and the Christian

Pornography is one of those topics that Christians don’t want to speak about.  It is a taboo subject as it deals with an aspect of sex and most Christians can agree that sex is a touchy subject.  We struggle at times with it because we are not always sure as to what is permissible and what isn’t.

What I write today comes from my experiences and perspective.  If you disagree, you disagree.

My first experience with porn came about early on when I was molested.  The porn came first as it puts the subject of sex out there with a degree of safety as the person can always claim it was an accident.  Porn and children should never mix in any circumstance.

Porn never seemed to go away after that.  I would have friends who would watch movies on TV or stolen their parents Hustler or Playboy magazines.  Some of the parents were ok with it while others I think played dumb.   Many people would rather live in a state of denial than deal with a subject that is controversial.

As I aged porn became easier to get and a lot more plentiful.  To this day, I can still acquire more porn then a person could look at in a month, in a matter of minutes.  Once you learn how to get it, you just do not seem to forget.  This is one of the reasons why Christian men struggle with it so.

It is not like a drug where you have to find a dealer.  Porn is plentiful and easy to find.

After high school, I bounced around with different groups of people.  One of my friends was a DJ for a strip club, so I was able to get in free when I went to visit him.  I met the girls and learned about how the business worked.  I enjoyed it enough to become a bounce at the club and then I was in it full time.

I would meet girls whose boyfriends would pimp them out after hours and many of the girls would sleep around with the customers on their own.  Some got paid but most did it for the feeling of being wanted.  They relationships always failed but they would try none the less.  It seemed like we all drink a lot or used one drug or another.

One of my friends from that time started his own porn business.  He would make videos and post photos on the internet.  I helped out for extra cash and made friends with most of the girls.  I did technical work, as I was descent with the computer.  I was amazed at the things that people would be willing to do for cash.

When I got saved, I left the world and people behind.  I would still see them from time to time, but we did not socialize like we used to.  I could not as porn was bad.  I did not fully understand this concept at first, but that is what I was told from Christians so I followed along.

Christians will say that porn is bad, but like sex before marriage, they are willing to consume under the “right” circumstances.  That or they just boldly lie about it when asked.

I remember a friend who worked at one of the novelty stores.  One day, he was working the door as his uncle strolled by.  When you entered this store, you had to show your photo id to prove you were 21.  His uncle already knew the rules and just held it up as he walked in the door.  My friend just laughed as he said “that’s ok.  We have been family long enough for me to know you are of age”.  Well, the uncle turned red and left quickly.  See, he was a deacon at his church and had been speaking ill of my friend and his mother for not leading a good life.

I have struggled with porn off and on since giving it up.

I never fully understood the motivation behind the desire for it at first, but as I prayed about it God showed me that I used it as method of control.

Porn is about your fantasy.  What you look at can change, but porn is always appealing to a desire within you.  For me it was about having a sense of control.  I could imagine countless scenarios with anyone I wanted to, but in the end, it always came down to I was in control of the fantasy and what was “happening”.

Once I had this breakthrough, it was easier to resist the temptations.  Now that I know what the trigger is, it is easier to deal with it in the beginning and stop any negative actions.

For those people out there that feel like they are struggling and that it is a losing battle, do not fret because it can be beaten.

Talk to God about it.

He knows how you truly feel about it and what the stronghold in you is.  Once you can admit to God that you are struggling and that you want it gone, ask Him to show you why you are drawn to it.  It might be acceptance or approval.  It could be an issue of wanting to control what happens around you and your feelings or something else.  Regardless of what it is, God can free you from it.  You just have to ask and walk it out with Him.

Once you have made that step, I urge you to find an accountability partner.  It is a lot easier when you have someone with whom you can share these feelings with.  It might be your wife or a member of the same sex.  If you are not married, I urge you to avoid speaking to a member of the opposite sex about it.  The only people who will really understand what you are going through are those who have battled with it as well.  When you bring a member of the opposite sex into those areas of intimate discussion, you run a very high risk of the relationship going somewhere it need not go.