I’ve always been deeply impacted by Romans 8:1 - “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
You’ve probably heard this verse before, I know I had several times. But when I was deeply struggling with porn, this verse hit me like a ton of bricks for one simple reason…
I was violating it in every sense!
When you struggle with porn, it is hard to not condemn yourself. You feel guilty on the regular. Ashamed of your poor decisions. And fearful that you will get caught and lose your job, friends, community. When that is what your life looks like… how could you not condemn yourself?
But this scripture says otherwise. It says that the only requirement to avoid condemnation is to be in Christ Jesus. And though I have many imperfections and despite my 15-year struggle with pornography, I was always and will always continue to be in Christ Jesus.
So if that’s the case, what the heck am I doing condemning myself? And if it’s the case for you, what are you doing condemning yourself?!
We tend to believe that it is our perfect behavior that pardons us from condemnation. Or that it’s our good works and pure motives. It’s not. We are pardoned from condemnation because of the shed blood of Jesus and that is wonderful news.
The opposite of condemnation is compassion. When you stop condemning yourself and choose to have compassion instead, unbelievable things happen. You start to walk more lightly. You see yourself in a different light. And the pressure to not slip no longer lingers over you. It is an incredible feeling.
And the wonderful fruits of compassion are that we begin to walk more in our identity. This is an important point. You may think sometimes that if you are too ‘kind’ to yourself about your struggles then you in essence let yourself off the hook. I used to think that way too. But what I’ve learned and observed is that the opposite is true.
Being kind to yourself is empowering. It enables you to pursue higher standards and to stay motivated toward your goal of freedom. And the best part is that you actually enjoy the process because you aren’t being so hard on yourself!
Wherever you are in this journey, I implore you to have compassion for yourself. Be kind. You are a hard-working man giving his absolute best out there. It’s not always easy, and it won’t always be perfect, but if God isn’t condemning you over those things, then why would you?
Cheering you on,
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