Yesterday I lambasted my wife over the phone. She was handling our child who was unwell and could not see why I had to work late that day. In response to her demand that I come home early, I downloaded upon her the misery of a heated argument.
I don’t say this with pride. I wish I had tears of sorrow that Jesus had for my sin. Instead, I was blasting the most beautiful person in the world I know, while she was toiling faithfully, handling a crank-athon infant and bearing pummeling construction noises from next door. Instead of displaying our beautiful Lord Jesus in my words, I had decided to send across some verbal pummeling.
Satan has long employed two culturally “correct” lies to prevent Christians from finding freedom from sexual sin.
Lie #1 :You are supposed to figure a way out of sexual sin yourself.
If you think you, on your own, can outwit Satan’s schemes, you must be on the level of Jesus. But, indeed, have you succeeded?
Interestingly, even the Son of God had a dozen men watching his life day in, day out, for three, straight years. Do you think He was not accountable to them?
As mentioned earlier in a Marg blog – “God has designed the church in such a way as to come alongside and support and encourage you in the fight. We need one another for such an important task.” As a Christ-follower, if you have been watching or fantasising about impure images or been involved in sexual immorality, you would not want one soul to know it. But if you claim to have any part in the kingdom of God, the word of God is your authority even in the area of confessing sins.
It is only in this context that James 5:16 and many other verses that show a counter-culture of bringing sins into the light, make sense:
1 John 1:9,
Eph 5:10-12 and
Lie #2 :You have to portray yourself as strong, not weak.
This one from the depths of hell directly contradicts God’s Word – the Bible says we are weak sinners (1 Tim 1:15-16), who will use our deceptive hearts (Jer 17:9) to wiggle out of any situation that will remotely make us lose face before other people.
Confession comes easier if you dwell upon the One who justifies you, no matter what anyone else might think about your sin.
If you know that Jesus Himself is the one who justifies you, your advocate on the big day when God will call everyone to be accountable, why do you fear exposing your sin before mere men? Should you not instead be saddened that you may have put people above obedience to Jesus?
What is there that Jesus does not know already? It’s time to throw aside attempts to build your false reputation. Jesus condemns hypocrisy, and his church is never helped by it.
The Christian faith is lovingly ruthless and unbelievably practical. Sin needs to be brought to light, pretty much how the mouth needs to be opened for the dentist to pull out the rotting tooth. What would you think of the patient who thinks that the solution to unbearable toothache is to not reveal the pain to his family?
What would you say to the man who doesn’t want to go to the dentist because he thinks revealing the fact that he has toothache is shameful?
Confession of sin to one another is a command Christ expects every follower of His to obey. Remember that sexual impurity, like any other sin, will keep a choke-hold on your life until you humble yourself by obeying God in confession.
HOW TO CONFESS?
I encourage you to prayerfully find brothers who are themselves eager to fight this sin, and who can be trusted with confidential matters.
Tell such a person how they can pray for you specifically– details like how often you sin, and the ways in which you are tempted; help the other person pray. There is no need to reveal the explicit details to them (like website names or descriptions) of what you’ve exposed yourself to. Let’s not unwisely cause damage to someone else (Gal 6:1) .
Some results of confession of sin are much joy before God and the beginning of freedom.
Even before becoming a part of Margfamilies, I had the privilege of having dear brothers holding me accountable about sexual purity. Between 2006 and 2011, at least eight men in the various Christian fellowships I had been part of, were my accountability partners.
I am thankful for the brothers in Marg too, who have the freedom to ask me questions about what my eyes see each day or week, and whether I have been walking in sexual purity or not.
1. A man’s life of sexual sin has corrupted his family. His wife wrote this poem.
3. If you’re not able to find a Bible-believing church community, I recommend this free course to fight sinful sexual addiction. ‘Way of Purity‘ usually provides an online mentor who can pray for you- and can hold you accountable. Eventually they will ask you to find a believer in your locality, but it’s not a bad place to begin with.