Help! I Just Committed Adultery!
- Tuesday, June 25, 2013
That night in his hotel room, overcome with shame and guilt, he thought, "I'll never see the light of morning. I've committed such a horrible sin that God is going to kill me tonight.” He imagined the hotel roof caving in upon him during the night. But, lo and behold, he woke up just as he had every other day of his life.
Pastoral work is hard enough without living a double life. The anonymous pastor detailed the dark side as he struggled with porn. He snuck into peep shows, devoured pornographic magazines, and put dollars in places he shouldn't be putting dollars. The shame and guilt were incredible.
He tried some of the standard ways to find freedom from bondage. "God, take it away!" he cried; but that did not work. He tried will power with no success. "I will never do it again!" he promised God; but, he did. Fleshly will power and repentance and surrender to the Spirit all proved ultimately ineffective.
Flying across the western United States he struggled with how his sin was affecting His marriage. He now had a whole sex life apart from his wife. She was realizing that something was wrong, but couldn’t quite put her finger on it. He looked out the window and prayed, “God, since I can't get victory over my sin of pornography, would you just strike me blind? I'm going to close my eyes and while they are closed I am asking you to strike me blind. He was desperate. But, when he opened his eyes he could still see the desert out the window. God didn't take away his sight.
In the midst of the article he shared a great insight into the lie of pornography: “The great lie of playboy, TV commercials, and racy movies is that the physical ideal of beauty is attainable and oh, so close. The truth is, of course, that if I sat next to Miss October, she wouldn’t give me the time of day.”
Sports Illustrated magazine puts out an annual swimsuit issue with increasingly scantily clad women. The first cover photo to cross the line of decency was of super model Cheryl Tiegs wearing a fishnet swimsuit. At this point Anonymous Pastor gained an insight which began leading to his freedom. He wrote, "I began to realize that I can have luscious Cheryl if I wanted--teeth flashing, breasts exposed, and coming right at me out of the magazine. I can have luscious Cheryl," he said. “But, I can't have Cheryl and also have God.”
Two Christian classics, “The City of God” by St. Augustine, and “What I Believe” by the fifteenth century French priest Francois Muriac, contained the keys that opened the door to his freedom. Anonymous Pastor wrote:
I began reading a brief and simple book of memoirs, What I Believe, by Francois Muriac. After brazenly denying the most common reasons I have heard against succumbing to a life filled with lust, Muriac concludes that there is only one reason to seek purity. It is the reason Christ proposed in the Beatitudes: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Purity, says Muriac, is the condition for a higher love—for a possession superior to all possessions: God himself.
Sins are not a list of petty irritations drawn up for the sake of a jealous God. They are, rather, a description of the impediments to spiritual growth. We are the ones who suffer if we sin, by forfeiting the development of character and Christlikeness that would have resulted if we had not sinned.”
Cheryl Tiegs coming toward me out of the page, her teeth flashing, her eyes sparkling, her body glistening, is that City of Man. The pure in heart shall see God. Set against luscious Cheryl, somehow that promise does not seem like much. But that is the lie of the Deceiver. The City of God is the real, the substantial, the whole. What I become as I strengthen my citizenship in that kingdom is far more worthy than anything I could become if all my fantasies were somehow fulfilled.
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