“I Didn’t Realize…”
UNDERSTAND the origin, motive, and history of my sin.
“I do not know all I need to know about myself or my struggle with sexual sin. I do know that my heart resists being known (Jeremiah 17:9), and that lust reveals the things that are most important to me (Luke 6:45). I am coming to realize that [list] desires lead me to sexual sin, and that [list] experiences have contributed to the strength of those desires. I believe God is more satisfying than those desires could ever be without Him.”
Memorize: James 1:14-15 (ESV), “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. Then desire gives birth to sin and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:
- “Each person” – You must refute the lie that your circumstance is unique in a way that makes sin acceptable.
- “Lured and enticed” – Temptation rarely feels like sin-chasing. We pursue the bait and ignore the hook.
- “His own desires” – The end of the “why trail” will always be rooted in personal desires that have become too large.
- “Gives birth to sin” – Desire is more than a feeling; it is worship that will either conceive life or death in us.
- “Brings forth death” – Something is about to die in your life; your soul and marriage or your sin. You choose.
“Adultery is an equal opportunity sin. It transcends social standing, intelligence, age, race, religion, and spiritual maturity (p. 101).” Gary & Mona Shriver in Unfaithful
“Fantasy can produce chemicals called chatecholamines in the pleasure centers of the brain that positively alter mood and even have a narcotic-like effect. The addict then uses these effects to escape unpleasant emotions, to change negative feelings to positive feelings, and even to reduce stress (p. 29-30).” Mark Laaser in Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction
“Each of us is unique in how we’re tempted to lust (p. 62)…It helps me to remember that my eyes are actively obeying my heart. They don’t have a mind of their own (p. 74).” Joshua Harris in Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is)
“It is not difficult to see how porn feeds off these cultural expectations. It creates a fantasy that perfectly matches each of these fears. If you fear failure, then porn promises success—you always get the woman. If you fear rejection, then porn promises approval—a woman worships you. If you fear powerlessness, then porn promises potency—women are under your power (p. 50).” Tim Chester in Closing the Window
“We see something (a person or fantasy) we think will change our situation. Our deceitful heart buys into a false and empty promise: the promise of relief, of acceptance, of fulfillment. Once the deceived heart believes the promise it conceives a sin that leads to death (p. 64).” Harry Schaumburg in False Intimacy
“Those who have experienced the unquenchable flames of burning lust can understand why the fathers of the early church regarded the worst aspect of hell to be that a person is left to his own lusts with no possibility of satisfying them (p. 78).” Steve Gallagher in At the Altar of Sexual Idolatry
“Adultery is often not centered on sex. Sex becomes part of it, but it may have begun as a supportive friendship or an office flirtation that guaranteed ego strokes. For some, it is the thrill of the illicit and a strange sense of adventure. Often after the chase is over, the excitement and attraction are gone. Sexual curiosity and frustration initiate some extramarital liaisons, but sex is just one of many reasons affairs occur (p. 347).” Doug Rosenau in A Celebration of Sex