I grew up in a pornography-free environment. My parents love God and they made sure that we were raised in a house that allowed no such filth.
During my second year of college, I had a roommate who kept in the second drawer on the left side of his desk a stack of Playboys and other adult magazines. He owned a stereo and loved to play music that glorified sex and championed lust. I condemned his reading material and protested his choice in music. But he did not value my values or agree with my convictions. Slowly, my resistance wore down until the day came when I submitted to the raging temptation to look inside those magazines. No one ever saw me but I was observed. No one ever caught me but I was imprisoned. I endured a miserable semester of inner guilt and gained immeasurable insight into what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote, “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing . . . What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:18,19,24,25 NIV)
Many would say that what I did wasn’t so bad. I was the victim of an environment over which I had little control. I was exercising my natural curiosity and no one else was involved so what difference did it make. Some would go so far to say that with my experience I gained valuable insight useful for helping others who have struggled most of their lives with pornography.
We live in a society that has mastered the art of making excuses. We flourish at ignoring God’s laws when they are not in synch with our own appetites. We rationalize immorality by attacking moral absolutes as restrictive and judgmental. We condone the actions of those who are genetically conceived with peculiar tastes while missing the reality that everyone is wired to sin. We succumb in the war of evil because we have lost sight of the battle of choice. As Proverbs 4:18,19 reveals, “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.” (NIV)
Righteousness—doing right, is something we must choose. Wickedness—doing wrong also requires us to choose. So life is made up of choices. I decide:
If you are caught in behavior that God forbids there is a way out.
#1. Be honest enough to call sin—sin, confess it before God!
#2. Stop rationalizing your excuses for wrong behavior.
#3. Cry out to Jesus who endured temptation, knows what you are going through (Hebrews 2:18), and will rescue you!
#4. Choose to do what is right.
Jude 24,25--Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen.
Nothing that transpires outside me can make the tiniest difference to me morally unless I choose to let it.—Oswald Chambers in The Servant as His Lord
©1998 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)