The following is from a young woman that visits Beggar’s Daughter. She left it as a comment, but I wanted to repost it.
Sin tells a story, the true story. A story that many individuals wish to hide from the world. Sin shows a person’s weakness, show’s what a person is willing to do to accomplish fleeting pleasure, details the story of how far some are willing to fall. Sometimes it shows an addiction, and addiction to pleasure. That’s what it shows for me, that is what it shows for all of us.
Although no sin is the same, they all weigh the same.
As a woman there are very few resources we can find when it comes to searching for liberation from our sins, especially when we seem to fall so easily. This is especially true for lust based temptations. We live in a changed society, where femininity is more sexual liberation than true freedom. We live in a society where schools have daycares not for teachers, but for the students. Sex has become something that is fed to us daily as what we must do in all healthy relationships, some kind of life milestone.
However if this is true, why are so many young women left broken in its wake. Magazines tell us that it is perfectly acceptable to masturbate, half the times they won’t even name it as such, and in the same magazine tell us how to punish our men when we catch them doing the same. How many times do women punish men for masturbating, for viewing porn, when we now do the same and call it freedom? Masturbation and porn addiction is still the same dirty act that makes us condemn men, but why to women is it freedom.
Maybe it is because some men find it attractive, and many women have been led astray when trying to please others (and vice versa, women are far from innocent). Maybe because society says it is healthy, makes us happy, and makes us know our bodies better. I’m sorry, but I find that hard to believe when all I am left with after lust is guilt, shame, and the knowledge that it shouldn’t be okay for me to hurt myself like this. Yet here I am, speaking to so many of you, who have done the very same thing as I have. Committed a lust based sin that I desperately wish I had freedom from.
But where do I go from here? As a Christian I need to start looking to Christ for strength. I have tried so many earthly means, and yes they have aided, but I am not freed. I didn’t even know where to start, so I prayed. And despite how dirty my soul has become, He still listened. He’s still adamantly working to get me to a place where I can be free, as He too is for you. This is what I understand from prayer:
(A) Know what causes you to stumble, your weakness. This applies to all sin, not just lust. If you are tempted by certain imagery, avoid it, don’t pretend that you can learn to overcome it, it is a temptation. I have fallen so many times under the guise of ‘I haven’t in awhile, so I must be freed from this, I should test it to find out’. Sometimes you are stronger, but many times you are willing choosing the temptation that makes you fall. If it is porn that makes you lust, don’t watch it. If it is violence that causes you rage, don’t watch it. It seems so simple, but it isn’t. I may have never watched hard core pornography, but soft porn (like True Blood, sex scenes in a movie), situations where what you see is fake, but looks real, is just as bad, trust me on that. It may mean avoiding a popular movie, or a ‘good’ book, but if it is your weakness, your temptation..you need to run from it, rather than fight it head on when you’re still weak.
(B) Sometimes sin is not a blatant act, like masturbation, but more so a lifestyle choice you are living. If you’re life isn’t centred on purity, how can you resist the temptations of lust. This works for other sins too. If your relationship isn’t pure, how can other aspects of your life be pure? If your dress code isn’t modest, how can you advocate purity while tempting others? We need to take a hard look at our lives, and see where else our sins are reflected. If we suffer from wrath, we need to know where that comes from, where it shows through, like losing your temper easily, or holding grudges. This step comes hand in hand with knowing where the sin comes from.
(C) Know where the sin comes from. Sort of a mixture of the two. For me my lust temptation arose when chose society’s opinion over my own, but worse over the Lord’s. It came from demeaning myself to not being worth respect. Like with illness, we at times need to learn the cause of the infliction. It is the same for sin. We need to understand its roots in our life, so that we can pull them out.
(D) Understand the Lord’s opinion. There is a clear reason why we are seeking help, we know that sin is controlling us, that we are choosing to disobey the Lord. So my advice here, is run to him, not away from him. He will accept you despite your shame and guilt, despite how dirty you feel, He awaits for you to trust in His healing powers. Pray more, attend church more often, pay attention in church, and read His word. Do whatever you can do draw close to him. When you feel the familiar and strong pull of temptation, call out His name and ask for help.
(E) Remember that you cannot do it alone. Run to Christ, and a close friend on earth. Someone who can keep you accountable. When someone is looking out for your best interest, it truly helps. The Lord will help you find freedom, a friend will help you stay accountable. On our own, we are simply weak, there is strength in numbers, especially His.
I am still travelling down the road of recovery, but I wanted to share this. Writing it out is helping me understand everything a bit better. And it would be selfish to hide something the Lord granted me the clarity to understand. Good Luck, no matter what part of your journey to freedom you are on.
If you would like to share something God has laid on your heart, send me an e-mail, leave a comment, or head on over to the “Share Your Story” page. Let’s encourage each other in this journey!