You are allowed to like yourself. You are allowed to feel happy and you are allowed to feel live.
I wish that when I was right bang in the middle of my deepest struggles with porn someone had told me that. I wish someone had told me that, because for many years I believed that I was weird or unusual in that I had these urges. I felt like I was alone, so my response was to be alone. I shut myself away from others. I felt like my sins were so horrible and nobody would love me so I let those thoughts dictate how I lived.
In my head I was alone. So I took it further and made sure I was alone in reality.
Do you do that? Do you have good relationships with people, with your friends? Are they honest relationships that breathe life into your soul? How are you around other Christians? Maybe you are fine. Or maybe you shut yourself away afraid of what they think? Maybe when the opportunity presents itself to create friendships you close them down before they even begin.
And if you shut yourself away from people how do you react to God? Do you even interact with him? Do you transfer the guilt you feel, the shame, the feelings of loneliness to how you act with God, so that you hide away from him. A famous pastor once wrote that the best way to beat the temptation of sin long term is by enjoying God more. Do you enjoy God?
It always strikes me as I read the story of the Prodigal Son, that when the son returns to his father, his father doesn’t ignore him. He actively pursues his son and welcomes him home. He welcomes his return. His son had let his sin affect him so much that he exiled himself from his father, from his home and his family.
And what did his father do on his return? He threw a party. He celebrated. He lived in the joy of his son’s return and had his best animal killed and invited everyone. He didn’t say that his son needed some time to reconcile and make up for his sins before he could be reinstated into the family. Immediately he was loved and enjoyed everything his father wanted him to enjoy.
If you are closing yourself off from people and from God because you think that you don’t deserve it you are right. You don’t. But that doesn’t matter because God wants you to enjoy him, to enjoy life, to enjoy people. To enjoy who he has created you to be.
God wants to throw you a party. God wants you to experience life to the fullest. People have good times at parties or they have bad times. They choose to be part of it or they choose to sit in the corner.
You’ve got your invitation. It’s time for you to RSVP.