This short video/article by John Piper is a very helpful reality check in our battle with sexual sins – You Can Say No to Porn. We often feel out of control with our sexual desires. We feel that it is impossible to resist. We feel overwhelmed by the temptations. It is almost like we have to give in, almost like we have no choice.
But this is a lie we give ourselves to rationalize giving in to temptation. Piper’s example is extreme to be sure, but it proves the point that we do have control over our actions. If we were threatened that ISIS would kill our family members if we gave in to pornography or crossdressing temptation, of course we would have the ability to resist such temptation. And if we were promised the reward of a million dollars, of course we could resist the temptations in order to get that million dollars.
This article hits home two points to me.
1. I am in control. I have freewill. I can resist these temptations if I want to. So the goal is to keep growing in my relationship with God, and learn enough about the detrimental effects of sin, that I do actually WANT to resist the temptations.
2. I have a very paltry view of the gifts God has offered me. God has not given me a million dollars, but he has given me his love, salvation, meaning in life, his presence with me, his Word, and eternal perfect life with him. These things are priceless and in comparison a million dollars looks like rubbish. If I really valued these gifts from God as much as I logically should, crossdressing would also look like rubbish in comparison and temptations would be far more easy to resist. So I need to cultivate more gratitude for all God has done for me, and more faith in what is to come.