It’s possible to tell if someone is truly serious about kicking their sexual sin habit (or any habit) within the first few minutes of conversation. You can tell by what they are willing to give up. If they are willing to give up anything and everything, then you have an ideal candidate for real change. But if they give the Meatloaf answer-
– then chances are not so good, at least not yet.
The difference between the person walking in the light and the person still ducking in and out of shadows is all too often their degree of willingness to do whatever it takes to be transformed.
Jesus said that if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. For it’s better to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell (Matt. 5:29). To put it another way, if you want to be free of the sin that weighs you down (Hebrews 12:1-2), you will need to radically reorient your life. It may mean a new job. It might mean a moving to a new town. It might mean cutting out TV. It might mean unplugging from the internet – forever. It might mean dropping your friends. It might mean burning your CD collection. It might mean any number of things, all of which will be absolutely necessary for you to be set free. That thing you are thinking about right now that you can’t imagine going without or can’t imagine doing is probably the very thing God will require of you.
For the rich young ruler it was his wealth that he needed to cut out. Jesus, looking at him and loving him, told him exactly what he needed to drop if he wanted to inherit the life of the ages. Tragically, he walked away sad, for he was unwilling to part from the thing Jesus demanded of him (Mark 10:17-27). Don’t be like that guy. Don’t be a meatloaf, willing to do anything….but that. Be willing and ready to do whatever it takes, no matter what the cost, in order to be rid of the sin that binds you. New life is possible, but it doesn’t come without dying first.
Pray with me: Jesus, I’m scared. I want to trust you with everything – my future, my family, my friends, my stuff – but I don’t know how. Teach me. Open my heart to you. Help me to open my hands to you as well. All that I have is yours. Make me willing and able to give you everything, even my very life. Amen.