“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 (ESV).
At first glance this verse can be very deceiving but that is due to our culture’s view of what mourning is to look like. I know I never understood this verse in fact it has taken me five years to finally get it. When I thought about blessed are those who mourn I always thought it was about death, like death of a family member or maybe a close friend. What I didn’t understand is that when the scripture refers to mourning it is referring to the mourning of our sinful past, the damage that our destructive past has caused, and the nature of our fallen world. We are to mourn our sins and to mourn the effects that our sins have had on others.
Once this verse became clear to me it was like I was knocked to my knees, I had the breath knocked out of my lungs. I had to ask myself, “Have I ever mourned over the destruction my pornography addiction has caused others?” What about my wife, my kids, my parent’s, do I even care the lasting effects that my past has caused them, well enough mourn about it? Or do I just have this huge sense of entitlement and feel the need to be congratulated for my “great accomplishment” of not looking at porn and compulsively masturbating? How much bigger of a jerk can I be? Now, I see I not only have to mourn the effects of my destructive past but also I need to mourn the effects that this huge since of entitlement I’ve gotten through not acting out has also caused.
I know for me it is easy to forget the destruction that my porn habit caused and become focused on the so-called fruits of my labor because of all the “hard” work I am doing for God. I am in ministry, I am a full time student, I’m writing a blog for XXXChurch look at me I am so great, I am doing so much, me, me, me, I, I, I, man do I miss the mark. I am such a self centered, self focused, self praising porn addict. Thank you God for your grace, forgiveness and unfailing love because without it I am lost in myself and no good for anyone other than me.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV)
We are to be the microscopes that Christ Jesus is to be magnified through as John Piper puts it. My problem is I want all the glory while wanting to experience God’s love to the fullest which is not only impossible it is not biblical and it is far from God honoring. God is to be glorified that is the only way we can receive the fullness of His love.