November 13, 2010

It's Not Always Pretty, Folks!

This week at Community Group, we were discussing Christ's words about adultery and lust in the Sermon on the Mount.  Now, I don't have much trouble with visual stimulation, but I do find my heart being pulled at in almost irresistible ways at times.  This happens a lot with a desire to be on the computer ... so I don't miss an important email, a comment on the blog, or cool news on Facebook.  Seriously, it's out of control and very embarrassing to say out loud.

I shared this with the group and asked for prayer to dominate it, rather than it dominating me.

A couple of mornings ago, I was considering what the root(s) of the issue are.  At the heart of the matter  are two main things: my self-worth being tied up in what kind of e-communications I'm receiving and plain old laziness. 

On the first point, I'm living like an orphan, when I'm a beloved daughter of the King - looking for love in all the wrong places.  I'm worshiping at the idol of myself and how ugly it is!  I find myself longing for positive blog comments or an affirming email from a friends.  I'm crushed when I don't get one or overly elated when I do; then the happiness wears of and I find myself longing for more.  (Sounds like Romans or Ephesians - these deep desires that drive us like wild beasts.)

How  unbecoming of a daughter of the King!  I'm loved to the core by a God who was willing to die to rescue me from that nasty sinful nature.  Only in His presence do I find that fulfillment I'm looking for.  God promises to fill us up, quench our thirst, give rest to our souls.

On the second point, the computer is simply an avoidance tool.  I get bored waiting for E to finish a writing assignment, so I check my email.  I want to put off a task, so I check the computer to find an excuse to put it of just ... a little ... longer.  What if there is an urgent message to which I MUST respond, the lie goes.  It's just laziness and irresponsibility!  (Thanks to Bridget for pointing this out.)

Again, how unbecoming of a daughter of the King!  God has taken my life and given me new purpose: to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.  I can do this in whatever situation and don't need to distract myself.  I  I have a spare minute, I can think of Him, encourage the ones I'm with, or give thanks for anything going on around me.  If I have a task to do, I could just do it - and reward myself with some posting time when it's done!

I have a strong feeling (based on many Bible verses) that you, too, dear reader, struggle with sin that threatens to undo you, keeps you living like an orphan when you have a loving, purpose-giving Father.

So let's get practical.  How do we overcome it?!
  • Repent:   If your heart is telling you you're clinging to something other than God - sinning - tell Him you're sorry at that moment, thank Him for His forgiveness, and "walk away" from whatever it is, right then.

  • Believe:  In repentance we must remind ourselves of the Gospel; this is a major part of the Christian life from day one until we see our Savior face to face.  Jesus died for our sins to reconcile us to God.  Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret. (2 Corinthians 7:10)  Salvation, people! Jesus came that you might have life abundant as you walk with Him.  BELIEVE the good news; you are forgiven when you put your trust in Jesus.

  • Accountability: You do not necessarily need to confess all of your sins to your spouse, small group, or pastor.  But if there's a sticking point for you, confide in someone.  I found that simply expressing my concern about how I'm drawn to the computer brought some automatic release; it's out there now, people know, they will ask.  I want to give a good report!  You can also set up sentries (borrowed from John Stott) to guard your heart.  For example, I've set up my blog to email me when I get a comment so I don't need to go looking to see if anyone's commented, so I don't NEED to go visit it a  million times a day ... in theory.  It's a growing process, people!

  • Fill up the space you've emptied: Paul talks about putting of the old self and putting on the new.  What good things can you use to fill up that gap?  Can you memorize a verse to say to yourself when you're tempted?  How can you be filled up by God in that place where you used to look to sinful behaviors or thoughts to get you through?

Remember, too, that there is an enemy that wants to see us fall.  He wars against the things of God, longing to rob Him of glory.  I wrote the first half of this post, and then thought maybe it wasn't that bad and I shouldn't share it.  Boy oh boy, that sneaky little devil.  Sin is real and so is Satan.  But the God of peace will soon crush satan! (Romans 16:20)  Let's stick it too him and remain faithful to our Father; His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.  II Peter 1: 3

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. 
I Timothy 1: 15-17


  1. the computer is such a great time filler. i remember for lent one year someone at ctk gave up blogging and facebook to free up time to pray and read the bible. i do know that blogs and facebook are a great way to find help and encouragement throughout the day, so i think it's about finding the balance, something that is so easily lost.

  2. I've really been struggling with this... Sarah is right, I need to find a balance. I find I've been a little obsessive about being connected lately, but haven't been able to pull back well (self-control issue too). Ugh. Thanks for the scripture references and practical applications stuff.