"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” --1 Corinthian 10:12
In my earlier post I admitted that I was addicted to pornography for many years, and how I suffered from guilt, shame and self-loathing in the process. (Click here to read it.) What I want to share to you now is the answer to a deeper question: “Why I got there in the first place?” It is my hope that you can get something from it that will help you in your walk as a Christian.
When I was already a first year high school student, I did start to have sexual awareness early on, but I didn’t put too much attention to it; I was still preoccupied with childish stuffs. So I lived a fairly innocent existence until one day a friend of mine showed me an adult magazine he took from his father’s cabinet. From that point on, my journey towards addiction to pornography began and my life was never the same again.
While still in the early stages of my vice I struggled with guilt feeling. Somehow I felt that what I was doing was wrong. But I was undecided. Then someone told me (to justify our indulgence to pornography) that doctors recommended that young men like us should relieve ourselves of our sexual urges every now and then because it was good for the body. And he added that all normal men, young or old, were doing it anyway. So instead of turning away from my vice, I was encouraged to continue my indulgence. When I felt the pangs of guilt again, I stifled it by going back to these beliefs and reassured myself that what I was doing was normal.
Were my beliefs true? Balooney, right? It didn't matter because I believed it to be true.
A firm belief is powerful.
Unfortunately, as much as beliefs can bring upon blessings, it can also bring forth misery, and even destruction.
Let me tell you the story of a second leader. During the later part of the 19th century, there was another charismatic leader who mesmerized his countrymen with his passionate speeches about the superiority of their race, and his hatred for the Jews. He believed that the Jews were responsible for all the problems and evils in the world, and that they were the real enemies of his country. He even published a book that recanted among other things his disgust for them. Like the first leader, he rallied his nation behind his belief and make it theirs. As a result, he started World War 2 which cost the lives of millions of people including 6 millions Jews who were murdered in concentration camps. A belief that led to a horrific ending of global proportion. That leader was Chancellor Adolf Hitler.
Friends, never take for granted your beliefs. They have the power to influence your future, and even change the world for better or for worse. The two leaders clearly illustrated it. My addiction to pornography illustrated it.
The belief I held that indulging in pornography was acceptable since everybody was doing it kept me miserable for a very long time. I didn't fully realize why. Now I know why. It was because indulging in pornography and all the vices surrounding it was a sin against against God, not to mention against my own body. My sin created a spiritual chasm between me and Him. I didn't know it then that my misery was really my longing to be with God and be reconciled with Him that remained unfulfilled.
It didn't help that I believed that I have to be a holy person to come close to God, and that I have to be a consistent good doer – I was more of an on-and-off Catholic – to deserve God's love.
If my earlier beliefs were false, my beliefs later about God were even more farther from the truth. But again it didn't matter because I believed them to be true, and I suffered for it.
My beliefs may not change the world as President Kennedy and Chancellor Hitler did, but it led to my addiction to pornography and a life which I am ashamed of, and which I don’t wish my children to experience in their own life.
In closing, let me leave you with this passage from the Bible,
“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” -- 1 Corinthian 10:12
A single belief has the power to change a person, a community, a country and even the world…for the better or for the worse. So choose wisely what you want to believe in that you might not fall. If you think your OK, don't celebrate yet. Turn around and check if your love ones are doing the same.