I’m putting my lack of blog posts lately down to being pretty busy. In the last few weeks since I got home from London I have been at school, saying goodbyes, making some money, hanging out with friends, Summer Madness and now finally sitting down and just taking some time for myself.
It’s much needed. It feels good and I think that everyone should take some time, every day just to be on their own. I’m finally now getting the chance. And what a lot of stuff it has thrown up!
This week the temptations and issues I thought were a thing of the past raised their ugly (and I mean hideously ugly) heads again, (I need to deal with why that happened for sure but for now I want to deal with how I react in the moment). When something bad in your life that you thought was done with and has lost its control over you comes back it can be scary and alarming and just frustrating. But this week I really got to understand first hand how God can use all things for his glory.
I was tempted to look at porn again this week and I honestly very nearly did. Something stopped me. Something in me that I certainly can’t explain but whatever it was I am just glad it spoke up inside of me. However I wasn’t honest about how I was struggling. I said I was fine and I wasn’t and I lied to the one person I should be able to share these things with. It was close and I know that I hurt someone very close to me because of it.
And that is where my healing really came from.
Love is supposed to be a great motivator but honestly for me anyway, knowing I have hurt someone is much more challenging for me to change behaviour. When I stopped looking at porn it began by feeling terrible about what I had done. The feelings of shame or being found out made me reassess what I am doing. Simply put, causing someone else to hurt is what makes me more than anything else want to not look at porn. There is no greater motivation for me.
The trouble for me though is that I think I have confused these feelings for feelings of hatred and disgust at myself. No doubt sometimes those feelings are necessary to cause change in our behaviours but definately it is not what we should be living with. I have been shown this week by my best friend that feeling bad because we have hurt someone should not be seen as identical as hating ourselves all the time.
I don’t want to ever forget how I made my girlfriend feel when she found out what I had nearly done but at the same time I need to live with that at a healthy distance. My girlfriend calls this ‘owning our sin’.
In one of the books in the New Testament, Romans it talks about God’s love and it says
Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: (The Message).
Now if this is true and I believe it is, then how would me hating myself constantly, fit into God’s love for me. Well..it just couldn’t. It’s impossible. Porn or masturbation (if that is a sin?…that deserves another post all of its own) or any other sin we do are not able to make God love us less. And me hating myself is certainly not in God’s plan for me or you or anyone. So we can’t go around beating ourselves up all the time. I can’t beat myself up because of stuff in my past.
God’s love is bigger than us or anything we think or do.
So this is where I find myself. I want to remember what I have done in the past. I want to remember the hurt and devestation it has caused, to myself but also others. I want to remember the way I felt when I have been pulled up about porn. I want to remember when I have been told that unless I stop things I shouldn’t be doing a relationship can’t continue. It’s not nice. It certainly puts things in perspective.
But…. and this is a huge but (insert own joke here), I don’t want them to affect how I feel about myself. I am loved. God loves me so much. God’s love covers the worst thing I can think of. Or the worst thing I do. I want love to be the main motivator for me to stay pure. God’s love and my girlfriend’s love. My friends’ love and my families love. I think the way we should live in this truth is that when we sin it should make us feel bad. I guess that’s where repentace begins.
But maybe we need to always hold these feelings at a safe distance.
Love allows us to live with these things and not let them dictate our lives. So my challenge for myself and anyone who struggles with porn or lust or sin. Don’t just assume your actions don’t affect other people. They do. We need to remember that. But if we base them in God’s love, a love that can never be destroyed, they can inspire us to be fair to ourselves and the people close to us by living without sin, without giving ourselves a mental beating.
If that doesn’t help remember this ….
the only buts we should be looking at are the ones that God shows us, when we think we can’t let go of our sin..