Five Understandable Words for Today:
“…full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
In this description of Jesus, the Believer finds a hidden truth of restoration. Jesus… the Light of the World, piercing the darkness with His eternally inextinguishable light, shining through the darkest corridors of our hearts and exposing those things which were hidden but are now exposed to His healing touch… revealed in truth to be sacrificed to His Way for a life redeemed through a process of truth and grace.
Many deal with the destructive consequences of pornography, early exposure to sexual activity, and licentious behavior in the formative years of youth and young adulthood. It’s no wonder, because our culture is saturated with visual media seeking to entice the minds of unsuspecting youth to the pleasure God intended for a husband and wife. Both men and women struggle to understand the obsessive nature of this sin’s grasp, leading to the compulsive acting out of desires that emanate from the evil of one’s heart. The Bible tells us that the heart of man “is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
Jesus, the Designer and Creator of our hearts is the only one that understands its self-destructive nature. He sees how we become entrapped by what starts as one’s own lusts, morphing into a monster that master’s the one who ‘played with fire’ (Proverbs 6:27). Men especially fall victim to lust and its devastating consequences to the heart, the family, the community, and the nation; though women can become just as much a slave to its domination of the mind.
So, just how does the restoration happen? The journey begins with truth. One must first recognize in oneself the truth of his/her utter helplessness – entrapped by the power of this overwhelming drive and its eventual destruction of a life, a marriage, a profession, and the continuing ripple of destruction through the network of one’s contacts and community. The evidence? Recurring patterns of surrender to lust by acting out in a number of ways, all done in the veil of darkness and deception; seeking to ‘cover up’ one’s own behavior; lying about the behavior; and denying the behavior.
Truth can also lead one to confess the issue in an effort to gain credence in establishing new patterns of behavior. Once confessed, efforts to establish new behavior patterns are essential. One’s connections with family, friends, mentors and spiritual allies should be reestablished with discernment in providing a support structure that is both loving, truthful, and understanding of the struggle ahead.
The healthy faith community recognizes the battle, for we fight what is unseen in realms of darkness. (Ephesians 6:12) The healthy faith community recognizes also the sham of an undisciplined life and will seek to deal with those in the struggle of deception by speaking the truth in love. (Ephesians 4:15) Such is the way of grace; such is the character of grace toward those caught in the vice grip of obsessive-compulsive sexual sin.
A healthy faith community will always start with a loving prompt toward establishing time in God’s Word. His Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. (Psalm 119:05) His Word will bring healing and begin the process of restoration to become one who will show others the way that leads to abundant life. (Psalm 51; John 10:10). A vital connection to a faith family will also provide the network of support in times of weakness, prayer support, and a cheering section for successful episodes of facing temptation.
The evangelical community often struggles to dialogue on this subject and reverts to archaic practices of condemnation, rejection, ostracism, and suspicion, instead of seeking to assist the one caught in sin with a strategy to rescue and restore the person, lest we, too, fall to the same potential failure. (Galatians 6:1)
Grace and truth, introduced in the life of Jesus Christ… Truth and grace, impacting one life at a time for redemption and restoration. Will you be a part of that process of healing in someone’s life?
Thanking God for truth and grace…