One of my favorit blogs to read is Stuff Christians Like. Easily in my top 134 blogs to read. You should love it too. Jon Acuff is hilarious and sees the things in Christian culture that we all see but are afraid to make fun of.
But now and again he will have guest writers. And this last week he had the also very funny Jon Crist write about the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated. Please do yourself a favour and head on over to check it out.
But it’s not Sports Illustrated which I want to write about today (maybe another time).
It’s something he wrote, and it was this,
“You know what’s weird about Christians? Everyone used to struggle with things, no one ever has any current struggles”
This really hit me because it’s so true. At least we act like it is. I remember being
clean from pornography for the first time. I remember feeling amazing about where I was with God and my life. I felt like God loved me more because I was free of the thing that had been hanging on my shoulder for a long long time.
I remember thinking now I can do the things that God has planned for me. I had just needed to sort myself out.
But then the thoughts started to come back. The moments when I was alone in the house and I thought, mmm maybe I could log onto the internet and look at some pictures. Or the times when I would stare at a girl in the mall for a little bit longer than I should.
Little things, but things I hadn’t done in a long time. But I had been clean. My
accountability partner had been supporting me through everything and I didn’t want him to think I was falling back.
I didn’t want God to think I was falling back.
But I was.
So I hid.
This kind of thing happens a lot. We reveal a struggle or sin that we grappled with for ages and then we reveal how we were able to beat it and start living pure lives.
But we forget that we are still human. We forget that we can still easily fall back into old ways. So when we do start to feel old feelings again we need to protect the image we have built up and act like lust was a thing of the past.
But… here’s the thing. It’s ok to struggle again. You are human. We don’t always need to have it all together. When we try to hide our struggles, especially when they are issues that we once had a hold on, we really don’t understand God’s love for us at all.
Romans 8 says it best
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)
Right here Paul is telling us that no matter what happens God will never stop loving us. God’s love isn’t a one time deal. We don’t receive God’s love when we have our lives together and we don’t lose it if we fall apart.
God’s love comes free of an expiry date and a clause.
And that means we don’t have to pretend we are alright. We might pretend to others that we are, but then alone we are cursing our own existence.
But Jesus set us free from that. He set us free from having to pretend to be something we aren’t. Even if we are feeling hopeless
Today you might never have opened up about your porn addiction to someone, or you might be struggling again just when you thought everything was under control.
Either way God loves you, no more, no less.
And it’s when we fully grasp that,
that we really start being alright.