Friday, November 30, 2007

Advice on Sexual Temptation

The following advice was given to a brother struggling with sexual sin: "Like most men you will struggle with sexual temptation all your life. But let's be honest, most of our failures are deliberate. When you provide yourself with privacy and opportunity (dating alone, late nights with a computer, hotel rooms, isolation, locked doors, etc.) you will inevitably fail. Our penchant for 'alone-time' is planned failure sexually. Stop putting yourself in situations where you know you could fail because this is only allowing yourself to fail knowing that you will apologize to God later. This is pathetic discipleship. I admitted to myself years ago that I was a sexual wretch. I come by it naturally. So instead of trying to be pure I decided to be wise. My success or failure is seldom dependent on my self-control but on my living in open community where I don't allow myself the privacy to fail. Yes we need to work on self-control but even more effective I have found is confession of sin, communal living, pre-sin accountability (telling brothers where and when I will be in known danger), and orchestrating my environment to minimize privacy. This would include where and when you go on dates, with whom you live, placement of computers, and who knows your schedule. If you can't be a good man you better be a wise man."

10 Comments:

Blogger David H. Willis said...

Good stuff! There's so much written on this subject, but you are spot on with these insightful and practical comments. Thanks.

December 5, 2007 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger Darin L. Hamm said...

Thanks.

January 8, 2008 at 10:05 PM  
Blogger Job said...

Is sexuality sinful? I am writing as an outsider with an open mind and a non-judgemental heart, but with serious wonder. Where does athe termonolgy "sexual wretch" come from?

Job

January 26, 2008 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Mark Moore said...

Job, There are no outsiders in open dialog, your views and perspectives are welcomed. My own perspective is a Christian under the guidance of Scriptures. Hence,the biblical values of sexuality are my own barometer of appropriate sexual ethics. That simply explains my position. As to your question: "sexual wretch" is my own language to describe my internal wrestlings. I love my wife of 24 years and enjoy a healthy, holy, and blessed sexual expression with her alone. However, I must admit baser drives that given free reign would naturally lead me to the objectivization of women through several avenues inclusive of but not limited to pornography, misogyny, and affairs. For you this might make no sense that I would focus on my drives and not my behaviors. But as a Christ-follower, he has taught me that what is in my heart is sometimes even more telling that what can be observed. What I think about women inevitably results in actual treatment of them, even if it is subtle. At the risk of being too brief, I'll stop here rather than risking rambling on.

January 27, 2008 at 7:17 PM  
Blogger raronis said...

Good words for sure...being a busines and sales trainer/coach, these words are easily transfered to your total success. Whether business, personal, relationship, or spirtual, for the attainment of that success we must always put ourselfs in situations and postions which will support and norish, (I love that word!) our success. All to often we compromise our belief system and put ourselfs in postions that actually destroy our value and success. Always be thinking, is what I am doing right now adding value to myself and belief system or am I destroying that value and belief system. There is not middle ground. If you find yourself in a compromising place or position, change. And by the way change can happen instanly. The notion that change takes time is far fetched. Who you want to be tomorrow, has no bearing on who you are today.

Good bless and have a great day!
Randy Aronis

February 5, 2008 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Lee Keele said...

Hi Mark,

I was just introduced to you tonight for the first time - listening to you and Jeff Walling was a real joy. I appreciated the thoughts and reminder that God can and God cares.

As for sexual sin - I made a discovery in my own life that I enjoy sharing. Bear with me, it may take a few lines.

I prayed for years and years that God would give me a clean and pure heart and that he would take away this temptation or "thorn in the flesh." And rather stupidly, I was waiting for God to do something that I've discovered he will not do, at least not for me.

Don't get me wrong. I have seen God 'miraculously' take away people's addictions. But he didn't for me and I began to seriously wonder why. But I read a verse that says that God has given us (presumably all of us) a spirit of power, and love and SELF-DISCIPLINE. What hit me was that God, through his spirit, has already promised me that I have the ability, through his power in me, to be self-disciplined.

In other words, what I was waiting for the power to do, I already had. For some reason, this has been very liberating for me.

Each time I am tempted, I remind myself that I have the power to walk away. Not of myself, mind you, but by the Spirit.

I also realized that God is not one to make us beg day in and day out for years. I find no case of that in the Bible - where people had to beg God for so long. God is eager to give the spirit, and when he gives it - it is ours. I only had to learn to open my eyes to this reality and it changed my thinking.

I don't know that this insight will help others, but it helped me.

March 28, 2008 at 11:45 PM  
Blogger Mark Moore said...

Lee, thank you for your open heart in this. You have touched on something absolutely crucial to overcoming sexual sin. That is, the relationship with the Holy Spirit. God offers us something better and the power of the Holy Spirit enables us to live this kind of life. It is one of the very few things Jesus actually asked us to pray for: "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13)

March 31, 2008 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

I struggled with this junk for years. I could never quite get ahead of impure thoughts that led to more sin. I was sick of it all so I went to a Christian counselor and confessed my sin. I think that and a little accountablity is what freed me. I am checking back with the counselor as a self imposed accountability deal. As I am in ministry, I have sort of a isolation problem that I constantly battle. Confession is powerful, let's not forget it.
Thanks for listening.

June 3, 2008 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger zach d. said...

Hey Mark, i was at Bible and Beach with Southeast Christian over spring break, I just wanted to say that this is great. I find myself continuing to lust and coming back to God for forgiveness afterwards, but i just keep falling back into the same pit. So I guess what you are saying is that there is strength in numbers and that we should try to air our sins and have a friend keep us accountable?

July 1, 2008 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Mark Moore said...

Zach,

I would not suggest that a friend hold you accountable. Most of your friends are struggling with the same issues and this often becomes mutual justification rather than accountability. What I would suggest is you confess your sins to a spiritual authority. God has given you several: Elders in the church, a minister of the Gospel, but most importantly, your parents. They are the first line of defense God has given you both in prayer and discipline. If you are serious about overcoming sexual temptation, tell your mother and father what you are struggling with, when you struggle with it, and where you struggle with it. This will be one of the most difficult and liberating conversations you ever have.

July 8, 2008 at 9:41 AM  

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