The sexual purity series is being written to help anyone who shares with me, that desire to no longer walk in sexual slavery but instead find satisfaction and freedom in Jesus Christ.
If you have read the Marg post on making AND executing radical plans to escape sexual temptation, then I can imagine that either you’re all excited about this idea, or – you can’t stand it.
Questions could arise :
“Are you suggesting that we can be completely free from temptation all the time?” (No!)
“Is creating a radical plan to escape sexual addiction, really possible for me?” (Yes,yes!)
I have attempted to address some common questions below:
1) “The Bible shows that the root of sexual sin is lust in my heart. So I don’t think running away from temptation is going to set me free.”
Yes and yes, the root of any sexual sin is the lustful heart. But Jesus also said in Matt 5:27-28 that whatever causes us to sin, we must cut it off and throw it away.
Experience will show you that fleeing is part of the larger plan to conquer sin. If you want to get rid of lurid images that you have been dwelling on for months with zero hope of freedom, anyone sensible will tell you it’s better to keep away from whatever could stimulate those images further.
If my aim in life is not to get cow dung splashed on my jeans, then isn’t there something wrong if you see me blissfully walking without protection, right through cow dung puddles?
You are welcome to try your plan, but God is not just suggesting, when He says – “Flee sexual immorality” (1 Cor 6:16-18).
No wonder Joseph ran in Gen 39:6-14. Such was His love and respect for His God that he just left the place. The results were very unpleasant for him- but run, he did. Read the story of Achan in Judges 7 to see how God wouldn’t give Israel victory in battle until they removed what God hated. Sometimes freedom is only going to be a dream for me until, I physically throw out the idols that the Devil gladly uses in my life.
Could this be true for you? You know. Jesus knows best.
2) I am a Christian man and I do NOT feel tempted by scantily-clad women in movies. So what’s wrong in watching them if I don’t feel tempted?
Here is a question by which you could judge your situation- do you even occasionally, gratify your eyes or your sexual desires by watching or imagining anything impure?
If your answer is NO, I praise God for your life.
If your answer to the above question is YES, then it’s no merit that you “don’t feel” tempted by impure images on the big screen because the Devil has already got you hooked properly to a desensitized lifestyle of sin. You need to stop loving your self and start loving the amazing, lovely Jesus.
“It does not matter how small the sins are, provided that, their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” – C.S. Lewis, “The Screwtape Letters”
There are Christians who think that “escaping temptation is good but you need to become stronger and the aim is that you should be able to withstand temptations”. Let it be known that the above statement has no Biblical basis.
While I indeed want to be dead to sin and alive to God, Proverbs 3:7-8 shows that God’s desire is for us to turn from evil.
Nothing negates the command to run when you are tempted to sin, not even the mission of God.
3) “It’s impossible to avoid impure stuff today if you want to be a Christian influence among friends”.
The mission of God never needs to be done at the cost of personal purity or integrity. Jesus didn’t give that excuse. The Bible says He was without sin, yet because of Him sinners entered the Kingdom of God. Can that be said of us? I hope I will have the same hatred for sin that Jesus had, for that is how I begin to be a Christian influence.
Of course, explaining your decision to not watch a titillating movie to your friends can be awkward, so why not sit with some close church members and try framing a gentle response to their questions? You could say something like “I am sorry man, but I am just not comfortable with this movie because of my relationship with Jesus and my conscience. I value you guys a lot but I can’t go for this one- how about doing something else, if you don’t mind?”
Meanwhile, get a list of clean movies and offer to watch those with your friends instead. Websites like Dove approve clean movies.
4) Aravind, do you mean to say that just not looking at the TOI supplement page helped you achieve sexual purity? I don’t believe it! I am a believer; I have a filter installed on my laptop and literally Zero access to sinful content; but my mind is filled with nude images that lead me to masturbation every day! WHAT DO I DO?!
Thank you for your honesty. I am so encouraged to hear that your obedience to God is complete in fleeing temptation. You’re right, I didn’t find freedom because I stopped reading the Times of India supplement. Infact, I found out that I could be so self-deceiving that I would labour to find other ways to satisfy my lust.
It took me nearly 3-4 years to understand that sexual purity is a result of not just cutting off temptation, but actively reminding myself of gospel-truths about Jesus.
After all, the problem always starts with our heart (Matt 15:17-20).
This is Step#3 that must go along with confession and having a radical escape plan. More on this, next week.