Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Bomb Went Off

Last night, I fell apart and gave into sin. I'd felt really upset about a few things going on in my life right now, and on top of that, I was feeling very lonely. For a few reasons I've felt somewhat rejected the last two or three days, and I suppose I let that get the better of me. After a few hours of sporadic crying and feeling sorry for myself, I resolved to go online and try to get my mind off of everything. I checked my email, looked at the comments from my last post, commented back, and then just started browsing a few other websites I like to look up from time to time. Well, I should have known better. Feeling lonely and depressed, and being online, is never a good idea for me. I ended up looking up a couple of pornographic websites I used to look up quite regularly back a year or two ago. And naturally, that led to me giving in to masturbation. By one in the morning last night, I'd managed to make myself feel even worse than I did to begin with. I turned last night into a night of rebellion, giving into sinful temptations I knew better than to give into. I knew I should have turned to God with all those things that's been bothering me. I should have let Jesus fill that void that I've been feeling lately. But that's not what I did. I turned to things which didn't satisfy any of those feelings, but only left me feeling dirty and so full of remorse that I went to bed crying my eyes out, hoping like crazy God would forgive me.

This morning, I woke up feeling just as bad as I did last night. I felt lifeless and empty, and so depressed that I couldn't stand it. I decided to write to my Setting Captives Free mentor and confess what I'd done, and to ask him to pray for me about the things that have been bothering me. In the middle of writing to him, I realized he didn't need to be the first person I turned to for help. I knew I needed to turn to Jesus to make things right. I stopped my writing, bowed my head, and prayed. I took everything to Jesus first. I asked Him to forgive me, and to help me with everything that's been going on. I did what I should have done in the first place when I first started feeling bad. That's helped me. I don't feel quite as bad now as I did. I do still feel bad about what I did last night, because I knew better than to do those things, but I know I made the right decision today, and I've made things right with God again.

I just wish I could remember to always turn to Jesus first! I wish I could get it stuck in my mind to always trust Him to help me--in all things. I don't know why I can't seem to fully learn that lesson. I don't know why I keep turning to all those other things all the time. I know they never help me. They only leave me feeling worse--about myself, and everything. I know nothing but Jesus ever really works to make me happy. He's the only one who ever satisfies me. He's the only one whose always there for me, loves me, comforts me, and cares for me. He's the best friend anyone could ever have.

So why do I keep turning to other things?

7 comments:

jennypo said...

"Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:30,31)

I love this verse because it tells me God is not surprised when I fall. It tells me what to do after I've already fallen - wait on the Lord. In HIS strength we will mount up with wings like eagles!

...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and FINISHER of our faith; who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross... (Hebrews 12:1, 2)

He doesn't forgive us and then say "well, you're on your own..." He's the finisher of our faith, too. When I have messed things up royally, when I'm sick to death of the view within my heart, what a sweet relief it is to turn to Jesus, who never lets me down. He is always pure, always lovely, always holy.

Onward...

RikFleming said...

Why do you turn to those other things rather than Jesus?

Here is THE answer:

When you are seeking those male images you are looking for the man you want to be - someone who is strong. The irony is that the pornography leaves you feeling more weak than ever. So, by giving in to the temptation to look at men having sex with other men you have believed a lie, that entering into a fantasy world in which you imagine yourself being that man in the picture or video will make you feel better about yourself.

It is time to stop believing the lie. You need to see pornography for what is truly IS and what it DOES to you and to your brothers who are also enslaved to it.

Why am I not tempted to look at porn? Because porn makes me angry because I hate it. I hate it like God hates it as much as I am able. He hates it because it is an affront to His holiness and those who commit such acts are worthy of death (Romans 1:32).

NOW, you have confessed your sin to Jesus. Do you truly regret the sin itself or just the way it makes you FEEL? (guilty, self-loathing, dirty etc.) If you only regret the consequence of your sin, then you have not repented. You need to hate the sin itself and you can only do that if you see it the way God the Father does.

How can you see the sin the way the Father does?

By looking to the cross! It is His hatred for sin, His wrath, that was poured out on His Son for your sin and mine!

Look to the cross - see your sinful act as a nail in His hand, a thorn in His brow and a lashing on His back.

Thank the Father for sending His Son in your behalf to pay for your sin.

Thank Jesus for dying for you on the cross.

Now, having come to the foot of the cross, arise up with he resurrected Savior and go! Resolve to sin in this fashion no more. If that means throwing your computer in the trash - then that is what you have to do. You need to cut it out (Matthew 5:29-30). If you can add a computer program that filters this crap out. Then find an accountability partner who will install it for you and have him put in his password to keep you from removing it. If you are unwilling to do this, then you have not repented.

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus - and that includes you! (Romans 8:1)

You have been forgiven but you need to learn how to NEVER do this again.

If you are tired, lonely etc. then you are weak. THAT is NOT the time to get on the computer. You need to be aware of your weaknesses and where you CAN and CANNOT go.

Like me, you are really self-aborbed and self-centered. You focus so much on how YOU feel and then you become preoccupied with your emotions and go into a spiral of depression, of wishing and wanting things that you cannot have and so you become discontent with what God has given you.

You need to grow up. You don't need A man - you need to BECOME a man. This change is one of MATURATION - of becoming the man Christ wants you to be.

IF you want my help, then send me an e-mail with your mailing address. I will then send you a couple books to read as homework and you will read them and we will discuss these books via e-mail or over the phone.

This is my hand extended to you brother. Take it.

I love you more than you know, but not half as much as Jesus does.

Rik

MR said...

I will be praying. It was good to hear that you turned to God even though you had just sinned.

Rik is right. God is forgiving but He also wants to help you stop this pattern of sinning. Accept Rik's help as a way God is showing you His love!

robertdt said...

Brandon:

I don't know how to answer the question that you posed but I will offer this:

First and foremost, you and everyone else who has testicles hanging from their bodies who is computer savvy and struggling with SSA (this includes me) needs either:

a. an internet filter (that is not defeatable by the user)

b. an ISP that filters the content before it ever reaches your computer.

c. controlled access to your computer that puts it within a public space so that you are not able to surf the internet in private...EVER.

I have both option b and c for my home computer. The only exception to that is my computer at work which is filtered but unfortunately is not in a public space.

Secondly, do some research regarding gay porn. To be more specific, read some books regarding how it's made. There are a number of autobiographies available by retired performers that are effective at neutralizing gay porn's virulent aroma. Once you've accomplished that, research anabolic steroids. As I'm sure you're aware, the majority of performers don't have God given physiques.

These are suggestions that helped me immensely. I LOVE to surf the internet and I find myself doing it a lot at work simply because I'm bored. I see it as an infinite encyclopedia of information and ideas.

I still look at porn, but I rarely fantasize about anything I see. When I was a child, I fantasized daily. In fact, I literally had a porno soap opera that I added chapters to each time I masturbated, although the images I utilized were not being acquired from a computer screen but from men's exercise magazines.

For me, keeping abreast of reality is a tool that the Holy Spirit has revealed to me to help keep me from falling into a adulterous fantasy world inside my SSA driven physche.

Also, one last suggestion: Don't be so hard on yourself.

Jay said...

Like Robert said, I think we've all been there, Brandon. It is very easy to stumble into our vices when we are upset. I know when I am stressed, I am more tempted to look at porn. I am also more tempted to be rude to my friends. Both of these are sins, and I must keep tabs on both of them.

I know many men might begin to view their sexual struggles as their No. 1 sins, but let's remember that there are many sins that we commit that don't make us feel as bad. Like Rik said, focus on the sins themselves, not how they make you feel.

As for pornography, if filters, accountability partners, and the like don't seem to be working, I would suggest trying to pray for the men who you are viewing. Like Robert alluded to, there is a reality behind the porn industry. On a worldly level, these men (and women) most likely do not lead healthy lives. On a spiritual level, just think of how God weeps for their lost souls! Pray for them, and perhaps lust can give way to compassion.

Learner Man said...

Hey Brandon,
Reading your entry was like reading my own thoughts and feelings at times. I understand your frustration and will be praying for you. I'd accept some help from Rik if you are willing. He seems to genuinely want to help and has been there, he's still willing to recognise his own weakness however - which is refreshing and encouraging. He's offered me similar help and I'm yet to take him up on it fully - life is keeping me really busy just now which has its pros and cons.
I'd even offer help if I can. Even to feel free to email me when you are feeling weak. The least I can do is pray at these times - and sometimes just letting someone else know is enough to diffuse the situation because you know they will question you later. There has to come a point for us both where this stuff becomes abhorrent to us, but the challenge is getting to that point. I'm in the process of asking a few friends to not only question me when the see my covenant eyes report or when I'm descending into a downer but also on a regular basis to check that I'm staying pure and that I'm getting into the word and prayer regularly. I believe that as my time in the word grows and develops I will develop that greater closeness to God that means that these things WILL make us angry. The temptation or the negative feelings will still be there and we will have to work on them - but with the word of God inside us we are armed for every attack.

I hope these thoughts help.

We're gonna get through this!!!

Learner Man

Brandon said...

Thanks everybody for your thoughts and prayers. I thank God for all of you.

I'm not going to address each of your comments now, because I've decided to write a follow-up post to this one, which will address the issue of pornography a little more indepth and will cover some of the things that's been mentioned.

I just want to thank all of you again for caring, and for lifting my spirit. You mean the world to me. :)