Title: Journey of Sexual Purity
Artwork by: Ross Boone (@rossboone)
Description: These images depict some of the emotional dynamics of trying to resist temptation. For me, it applies to my struggles with masturbation and my past struggle with pornography. But the same process drives other temptations like alcohol, over-eating, or even bingeing on TV shows.
I believe that God can use our struggles to help others. So as I have dealt with my temptations, I’ve tried to note what helped and what didn’t. I hope that you or someone you love can learn or benefit from these illustrated concepts.
Sometimes, when we slip and fall into temptation, the guilt and shame we feel drive us to do it a few more times. As a result, we completely “fall off the wagon” and find ourselves unable to get up again.
So whenever we’re tempted by sin, it helps to remember that more may be at stake then just one little slip.
On the journey of resisting temptation, we will slip and make mistakes—but not everything is lost if we can learn from them. Even though it sometimes feels like we are falling back to square one, it helps to remember that what we’ve learned through every mistake can strengthen us and help us go further.
The choice to abstain from a temptation can feel a bit like carrying a burden. Sometimes I feel weighed down by it and have found myself thinking, “How could I ever carry this forever? Let me just put it down for a while.”
But if I picture it (purity) as a burden that is meant to be carried, because it keeps me focused on who God wants me to be, I almost enjoy carrying it!
When does a first look become more than just a look? My mentor used to tell me, “The first look is free”, but if we do not catch ourselves at this point, we may not realize that letting our eyes linger can create inappropriate desire, discontentment, and eventually cause us to indulge in what we’re trying to resist.
We often think that one little vice isn’t really that bad. But that’s because we don’t see how it could lead us away from a glorious, satisfying righteousness towards the slippery slope of a self-indulgent life with less self-discipline.