Are You Loving or Despising Yourself? ~ blog

 In Daily Encouragement

That seems like a strange question, doesn’t it? With years or even decades of sexual sin in our past, we can only imagine that if the truth were known everyone would despise us, some would hate us, and certainly God regrets having brought us into His family. His anger is certainly being stored up and someday there will be hell to pay.

Seems reasonable doesn’t it? After all, looked what He did to Uzzah!!! So, if you do not know about Uzzah he was the man who was walking beside the cart that was carrying the Ark of the Covenant back to its proper place after it had been taken from them. Along the way the oxen pulling the cart stumbled and it looked like that Art was going to fall and Uzzah reached out to steady it and keep it from falling and God struck him down dead.

The Ark of the Covenant was sacred and not just another God in a Box. It was holy more so than anything else on the earth and I think God made that clear through bringing him directly to heaven to personally thank him for steadying the Ark…but I digress.

So, if that is the God we serve, and there are plenty of other examples of His wrath described in the Old Testament should we not be scared to death what His anger might be towards those of us who have become addicted to porn and sexual sin, failing to keep our promises to quit…like how many times???

No, we do not love ourselves. We despise ourselves and perhaps even hate ourselves for our sins and the pain and suffering it has caused to our loved ones. We have become addicted to this highly addictive behavior and try as we may we seem to always be the dog returning to its vomit. We are filled with self-loathing and there are times when our sadness and grief seem too much to bear and we may even consider ending our life.

I have been there. It is called in addiction circles “rock bottom.” It is the farthest one can fall and there is no chance of going deeper…or at least it seems that way. Falling is not the problem it is hitting rock bottom with a terrible splat when all the fun of sexual sin ends and the you know what hits the fan.

One day Jesus answered the question from a young man who asked;

“What is the greatest of all the commandments?”

And Jesus replied;

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Ok, so hopefully we are working on # 1 – loving the Lord God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind and all our strength. However, Jesus did not stop there. He also tells us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, which implies that we actually do love ourselves.

I certainly did not love myself when I was bound up in my sexual brokenness. Those days were so absolutely horrible I do not know how I managed to survive. I was filled with self-loathing but trapped in my addiction living in fear and shame every time I had another fall.

So, if that is where you are finding yourself, face down on rock bottom, you might see my initials “JRD” engraved on the wall with the date September 9th, 2005.

It was not until God tore the mask off of my face and revealed my sexual sins to my wife, my family, and the leaders of the church I was pastoring that I could even begin my journey to loving God, my neighbor, and myself. And I stumbled forward, one day at a time, learning the truth and telling the truth and remembering the words of Jesus;

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

There was no immediate freedom for me. The truth has gradually been setting me free more and more as I do the work that we all need to do in order to be being set free. And as I begin to approach the 15-year mark of my recovery I feel freer from my sexual sin than at any time in my life. I am improving on loving God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and loving my neighbor as I am learning to love myself.

And you are one of my neighbors. God has brought me into your life so that I can encourage you and help remind you of the biblical truths on which we can survive. And this is why I continue to ask you to please try joining our Online Support Teams. The only way to walk out of your sexual addiction is to walk into a community of other brothers in Christ helping and defending one another.

As a matter of fact, we have started two new Online Support Teams that have plenty of room in them.  One is at 4:00 pm Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday which might work for those of you in the UK and Europe and the other is 180 Australia which begins today at 7:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.

Join us to begin to learn the biblical can Christ-centered truths which will help you find freedom. Come and join a community of men helping one another to achieve what they could never achieve on their own. Where you can be absolutely honest and receive help, coaching, and daily support in your battle against this sexual sin.

You might even find that you can begin to love yourself because you are doing the work of walking in the Spirit, wearing the full armor of God, and receiving the help of others helping to bear your burden for you. And remember this,

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13

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