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God Isn’t Mad At You So Stop Beating Yourself Up When You Relapse

by Stephen Kuhn on July 1st, 2016 in Men, Women, Students

handle-truth-3-tipsI spend a fair amount of time on Reddit and other online communities interacting with people who are trying to find freedom from porn. One thing I’ve noticed, though, is there seems to be a tendency for folks to come down hard on themselves when they relapse.

“I looked at porn again after 30 days clean. God must be so mad at me.”

“I screwed up and masturbated last night, why am I such a horrible person?”

“Why can’t I fix myself? I suck at being a Christian.”

You get the idea.

I wish I had the time to respond to every one of these posts and let them know that God isn’t mad at them. Seriously. In fact, this whole idea that God becomes angry with us when we fall is likely one of the major factors in their ongoing struggle to find freedom from porn.

It’s easy for us to see all the crap in our lives as a huge pile of trash, with us on one side and God on the other. We think we need to clean it up before we can get anywhere close to the Father. But the more we try to shovel it down, the more we realize we’re just adding more to it every day.

If you look closer at the Gospels, though, you’ll realize that’s not a very good description of how God actually views you. The truth is He sent Jesus to walk around that pile of trash, put His arm on your shoulder, and offer to clean it up for you. Better yet, Jesus promises to stand with you at all times to make sure any additional trash that gets dumped on the pile is immediately removed as well—which includes those times you still look at porn.

That’s what Jesus meant when He said “It is Finished.”

Not “It was finished, but now you went and screwed it up by looking at porn again.”

“It is finished.”

All your sin, past, present, and even future sin, has been paid for on the cross. Your entire pile of junk was removed giving you a clear path to the Father. (Think about it, how much of your sin was future sin when Jesus was on the cross? All of it!)

So instead of feeling like you need to hide from God, clean up your life, or worse yet, beat yourself up when you look at porn, I’d encourage you to run back to God, knowing that He is a loving and approachable Father.

In the same way the father of the prodigal son looked to the horizon daily hoping for his boy to return (knowing full well what he had done), your Father in heaven is eagerly waiting for you to come back to His embrace as well.

He doesn’t want you to “work off your debt.”

He doesn’t need to hear your well-thought-out excuses.

He won’t require you to earn your place back starting as a hired servant.

He doesn’t think you suck, or that you’re a horrible person.

He loves you, and all He wants to do is throw a party to celebrate your return, because there is always a place for you at His table, regardless of what you’ve done.

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  • Miles

    This made me cry. Thank you.

    • That’s why they call it the “Good News.” 🙂

  • Jamie Bellos

    What if it’s a sin you keep doing and doing over and over again? A sin you’ve asked for forgiveness for years but still stumbles back in for years? What if you know what you’re doing and still do it thinking :”I’ll just pray for forgiveness afterwards” Constantly referring yourself to 2 Chronicles 7:14? I’m guilty of all of these. And I want to redeem myself. ‘Cause of guilt I ended up getting further and futher away from God. Even spend some nights; days praying to Him. I end up thinking like the world! I want to change, I need to change! My spiritual inside; i feel it die as well as my physical body. I feel like an empty shell most of the time; a body without a soul. What if you’re in my situation? Am I doomed? Is ot too late?

    • It’s never too late Jamie. Just the fact that you don’t want this anymore is proof that the deepest part of you (the part where Jesus dwells, and the part of you that is eternal), has already been changed. You’re just waiting for the rest of you (the temporary part of you) to catch up. That’s what sanctification is all about.

      None of us reach perfection this side of Heaven—that’s why we all need Jesus. So try not to beat yourself up for not having it all together yet. None of us do. We’re all on a different schedule of sanctification. Even if you got the porn thing kicked, you’d have something else that God would be working on in you. So instead of focusing on where you haven’t seen any change yet, try focusing on where you have been changed. Focus on the fact that regardless of your behavior, God sees you as pure, holy, and righteous because your soul has been fused with Christ. And nothing—no amount of sin or failure—will ever change that fact. The more you focus on that, the less tempting porn will become.

    • Zach Brewer

      Jamie, I’m sure you didn’t think that by posting would help someone else, but it did. You rock man! When the devil tempts me to look at a female or to think what to look up, I just say out loud, “God, please take these thoughts away from me.” And then I continue to say that until the thought disappears. It’s tough when you’re in that mindset, but if you want it bad enough, God will take care of the rest.

      You got this buddy ??

  • Mark

    I’ve been a Christian for almost 30 years, and the image of Jesus having His arm on my shoulder…. It strikes me that I don’t know what that’s like. And this is after working at different ministries and churches over the years.

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