I have dealt with several men who had tragic falls into sin and who I have been trying to help with their restoration. These men have something in common. They are suffering terribly. In fact, they are suffering so badly that they are almost in agony. Nothing I say to them seems to help. No matter what I say to encourage them, they seem to come back with the same despair. During the night, I recently received a text message from one of these men, who had been crying out in agony. I went into the living room and begin to think and pray for this man. The Holy Spirit placed upon my heart an answer. There are some of you, who are reading this that are living in agony that is destroying you, and I want to tell you what I think might be the cause. Well, it is one or a combination of three things.
1. You have a repentance problem. Let me make something very clear; there are many people who fall and are sad about the consequences, but not so much their sin. In fact, their grief is not over their sin at all. Their grief is over what their sin has cost them. They have not repented of their sin. They are recoiling from the pain their sin has caused them. They are living in self-pity and are feeling sorry for themselves, because of their suffering. If you have repented of your sin, God has forgiven you and his peace should be permeating your heart. So, why are you living in such agony? Maybe it’s because you really haven’t repented of your sin. You are sorry for your consequences, but you are really not sorry, nor have you repented for what you’ve done. Stop whining and repent.
2. You have a forsaking problem. Consider this carefully. If you have committed sexual sins, but you are still looking at porn, then you cannot have peace. The reality is, that you haven’t forsaken your sin until you have forsaken that which led to that public sin. It is time for you to forsake the private parts too. It is not enough, to just forsake the act. You forsake those things and thoughts which led to the act. Stop whining about your life, and start winning the battle against sin. I am completely convinced that some of those who are whining about how bad it is, and who are living in misery, are still playing with the very sins that led to their fall. Forsake means forsake! It means STOP entertaining the sin on the internet.
3. You have an approval problem. Let me give you some news. The people who are mistreating you because of your sins, are wrong, but you committed your sins. Stop blaming them. Let God deal with the elder brothers and you do what you are supposed to do. You are sitting around waiting for somebody to tell you that you’re accepted. I have good news, and I have bad news for you. The good news is, that God has accepted you if you have repented and forsaken the sins. The bad news is that you are going to be rejected by some people. I have not known a day in over thirty years of being fully accepted by men. There are always enemies and critics. There are always slanderers and detractors. You must learn to live with it. Stop feeling like you are being persecuted, because you’re not. You are dealing with consequences. They are wrong for what they’re doing, but it is what YOU did that empowers those elder brothers. Stop whining about it.
It is rare that I write an article this tough, but when I woke up in the middle of the night, the Spirit of God spoke to my heart. I believe that this truth is needed in some of your lives right now. I know where you are. I have been there. I have whined, while not repenting. I have moaned and groaned, while not forsaking. I have thrown my pity parties, because of people not accepting me. I know that it leaves you feeling low and discouraged. Stop it! Do what you’re supposed to do and stop living in your self-pity. God has given you the victory, now live in it. I love you enough to tell you the truth.
I personally confronted and rebuked one of the men about whom I am speaking. Within a few minutes he wrote me a note and told me of the sin he was still entertaining in his life. I knew it. I felt it. Thank God, his heart is not yet hardened by his rebellious spirit. Now, he has an opportunity to get out of the doldrums and get on the side of victory. You have that same opportunity, if you’ll just take it.(DH)