No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man (1 Cor. 10:13).
I used to devote a lot of time trying to discover the reasons why I was an addict. The world constantly told me that there must be some reason I indulged in pornography or other destructive behaviors and if I could discover those reasons and understand the emotions behind them I could love myself in more healthy ways.
I remember one trip to Texas my wife and I took to see a renowned psychotherapist who was a leader in the field of sexual addiction. On my last day with him he shared with me the findings of the many psychological tests I took that weekend. He said to me, “Chad, it’s obvious to me that you have ADHD. This explains why it has been so hard for you to have any lasting recovery or focus on the things that are truly important.”
I broke down in tears. Finally! Decades of failure could be explained by a medical condition which could be fixed and maintained with a little blue pill! I flew home to North Carolina armed with a prescription and the “good news” that I was essentially a good man with a medical disorder which caused me to be selfish.
My mind and heart were so darkened by sin that I willfully and joyfully latched on to the wisdom of this world as medicine for my soul. But the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God (1 Cor. 3:19).
Finding an excuse for our sin, a person or condition or history to blame, is as old as the first story of sin in the garden of Eden where Eve blamed the serpent and Adam blamed his wife. While there certainly may be many factors contributing to our poor decisions the fact remains they are our decisions, and they reflect what is in our hearts more than what is in our past (Matt. 15:18-20).
The truth God wants us to see and reveals to us through His word is that we are sinners, every one of us, and the sin which overtakes us is not new. The truth is that we have a sinful nature and love sin. We love ourselves more than God and others (one of the primary reasons why self-gratification must be eliminated). “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). David said, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity (sin), and in sin my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5). Paul said “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23) and John, “if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves” (1 John 1:8). Jesus teaches that it is what’s inside the heart which defiles us (Matt. 15:18-20). Sin is common, and so is our quest to justify it, excuse it, or find reasons for it outside our own hearts.
As sinners, we are tempted by the lusts and desires which reside in our hearts. We do not all struggle with the same sin, “but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire” (James 1:14).
You and I won’t find freedom in a blue pill or in any worldly wisdom which suggests we need to love ourselves more or understand ourselves better. The truth is simple: You do what you do because you are a sinner and you love your sin more than God. It will require a supernatural work of God, the Great Physician, not a prescription from a psychiatrist, to free you from your love of self.
Jeff Colon, President of Pure Life Ministries, said, “The reason why I don’t go into sexual sin anymore is not because I can quote a Bible verse; it’s because I love Jesus. Sinning is like crawling up the Cross and spitting in His face. He died for me.” I can testify to the truth of this.
When that truth comes to life in your life, you’ll know it. You’ll stop looking for excuses and reasons for your sin and know you do what you do because God’s word is true about us: we are sinners. But you will also know the remedy: Run to the cross. Fall in love with Jesus. He paid the ultimate price for you and He alone has the power to free you from a heart that is common.
Jesus is looking to make you UNcommon today. He can do it! Will you let Him?