Friday, March 19, 2010

The Battle That I Could Never Win

Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
Luke 6:46

Mario wore a mask. He liked to pray the rosary, hear mass, and listen to Christian programs and music. In the outside, people perceived him as angelic, an obedient son, and a good student, but in the privacy of his own heart, he was broken. Behind closed doors, and away from the eyes of his admirers, Mario was an addict of pornography, and all the other vices surrounding it. He tried to break free not once or twice, but many, many times, and each time he tried, he got sucked deeper into a quicksand of sins.

The pattern was like this, he confessed to a priest, promised not to sin again, and with all the inner strength he could muster, resolved not to fall again. On the first week, the temptation was bearable, but on the succeeding weeks, Mario threw in the towel, and indulged himself like a hungry wild lion. As he gobbled the forbidden apple, tears flowed from his eyes, and his heart yelled in frustration, “Why it’s so damn hard to remain good!”

Are you Mario? Are you enchained by an addiction that is so insurmountable you felt like your rolling down on the slopes of Mt. Fuji, and you’re helpless to stop yourself from falling down? Does your heart desire to change, but you just can’t find the strength to break free?

I have a confession…I was Mario. I felt filthy, unworthy, ashamed, helpless, torn and broken inside. I smiled at the people around me, but there was bitterness in my tongue; I fought hard and long, but for every inch of victory, I retreated by a meter. I even sought help in the corner of self-help books, but all the same. Finally, in the midst of my desperation, I cried out to God for help.

It was December of 2006 in Japan. I was watching a recorded talk of Bo Sanchez, when God spoke to my heart: “You’re fighting alone.” … A flood of indescribable emotion came crashing down on me, and left me shaking and crying a bucket, as I realized what a fool I was all those years; I sinned against a loving God, but I was too proud to ask for His help; my mouth mumbled  – “I’m Sorry” – when my heart really said – “I don’t need you, I can do it on my own.” All those years I fought alone with all my might against the gates of hell, and I came down crawling on my knees.

Each one of us has his or her own battle to win, a chain that needs to be broken – pride; lust; uncontrollable anger; greed; envy; laziness; addiction to excessive eating, gambling, alcohol drinking, gaming, gossiping, and the list goes on. But you don’t have to fight alone. Jesus already won the battle for you, and for me in the cross; all we need to do is to make Him Lord of our life. Do you labor to study God’s words as written in the Holy Bible even if it means passing up playing Farmville or watching Rubi? Do you talk to God everyday even when you’re too busy or too tired from work? Do you follow God’s teachings and commandments even when you don’t feel like doing it?

When you find your heart crying out, “Why it’s to damn difficult to change or to remain good,” then maybe just maybe, you’re fighting alone. If confession or religiosity doesn’t change you into a better you, then maybe just maybe, Jesus is not yet the Lord of your life. Lean on Jesus, He is gentle at heart and He is willing to give you rest. Invite Him to your life; you can’t do it alone, but with Him on your side every battle is winnable.

PS: God freed me from my addiction to pornography. I’m still not perfect; I fall from time to time to other sins, but now I'm quick to stand up because I am clutching tightly to the hands of my God. Don’t fight alone, put God in the picture of your life, and connect to people who are passionate with God. In my case, I am forever indebted to Gerson Boston, and Bo Sanchez for helping me find my way back to God.

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