One of the biggest struggles I have in gaining the upper hand in anything I struggle with is my own guilt and inability to believe that God loves me and forgives me when I habitually fail.
Every one of us has said the following: ” I can’t believe I did it again, I know I don’t want to do it but I seem unable to resist.” Then the guilt and loss of hope sets in. It seems especially so with issues of sexual purity. Part of the reason it is so hard, is that in the church it has been an unapproachable topic that some want to sweep under the carpet or leave you to deal with it on your own because it is a private matter.
This attitude is certainly not exclusive to the church. In fact, I was watching a show on TV called “What Would You Do?” where they set up situations where actors are publicly engaged in situations such as a boyfriend verbally and physically abusing his girlfriend. Most people would walk by and perhaps look on incredulously but not do anything. Once in a while someone would say, “Hey stop that, this is a public place and you should be doing this in private.” So, it’s OK to verbally abuse and hit as long as it’s in private? The point is, people are habitually private and don’t like to deal with hard personal issues in a public setting. Now I’m not advocating standing up in church and saying, “Hey last night I watched a porn movie and masturbated, can someone help me?” But we have to get to the point where repairing damaged lives is more important than maintaining secrecy. If we could be more comfortable discussing these hard issues then I believe we would feel much more comfortable accepting the forgiveness that we need to move on and take the baby steps necessary to gain victory. God forgives us. Unquestionably, totally and permanently. Read the following:
Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.
Hebrews 8:12 “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Hebrews 10:17 “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”
God forgives us. We need to believe it and receive it from Him. But it is also a massive boost to our success when others forgive us as well. When a spouse has been making strides to gain victory and then stumbles we need to forgive and encourage getting back on track and keep on fighting to gain victory. Ephesians 4:32 says: “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as god in Christ also has forgiven you.” When I know I can fail, which I will, everyone does, and still be loved by others it gives me great hope to try again. Remember the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed try try again.”
This obviously doesn’t mean you can just do what you want and say you’re forgiven and I’ll just keep on keepin on. You have to try. You have to make it a priority to gain victory in this area. If you expect others to forgive you, you must understand it takes great strength, faith and obedience to forgive. You have to work at it because it doesn’t come easy some times. So that means you need to struggle harder to gain victory so the forgiveness is not needed. I will close with this. I recently came across this quote: “Bitterness is a poison we take thinking it will kill another, but when we drink forgiveness it gives life to everyone.”