By: Shane James O’Neill
As we’ve touched on before, the O in P.R.O.V.E.N stand for Open and Honest. Walking in freedom means living in the light, which can be a terrifying thing — yet that’s where freedom is. As the writer of this particular article, it only makes sense to walk through the doors first.
So let’s talk.
Starting off raw
There are women in my life, right now, who aren’t able to talk to me because of how much I’ve hurt them.
I know what it’s like to be good in every area of my life, except purity. And I’ve used those areas of ‘good’ to counterbalance how wrecked my sexual integrity is.
I know what it’s like to love the gospel and despise myself. I know what it’s like to miss the gospel, time and time again. I know what it feels like to believe that God can save anyone, except me.
There are numerous days when I’ve been strung out tired because I stayed up all night watching porn.
I know what it’s like to have relationships fall to ash because I wanted intimacy with pixels. I’ve seen the look on a person’s face, someone very dear to me, when they realized the life they had been imaging for years wouldn’t exist because I’d given my passion away to a dead star, a black hole. I’ve been the cause of that despair in another person’s life.
Many times I’ve hidden from my family, too ashamed to admit that I’m a failure.
I have been the worst keeper of my imagination, I have been the worst warden of my soul.
We attach our souls to different sources of life. And like an umbilical cord, these are the places we draw nutrients. These sources form our character, our hopes, our daily emotions, our moral imaginations, and the ways we treat and view people.
Porn is the most vitriolic of such sources.
I’ll be direct. Porn will wreck your life. It will tear apart your relationships. It will distort who people really are. Porn will do all of this without you even realizing it.
The isolated, deceptive, ravenous, intoxicating, self-pleasure of lust is the highest tower in the lowest pit of hell.
Jesus went to that tower. The Author of Life let Himself be crucified there. Just so that He could show us the way out. Just to rescue us.
You know what He said while he was there. “Behold, I am making all things new.”
I would never dare hope for such a God, but He came for me.
all things new
As you sit in the misery of your dungeon cell, don’t be too proud to cry for help. There is one that is raiding hell, and He stands outside your door — waiting to hear a cry, to hear if anyone is inside. He won’t force Himself in, and He won’t force you out.
Have you stopped believing, stopped hoping for rescue? He is already in your cell. He’s been sitting in there with you, waiting for you to want out. Waiting for you to stop finding pleasure in the chains that bind you.
“Behold, I am making all things new.” The words send a tremor throughout the cosmos, a promise of destruction, and a promise of rebirth.
He is making all things new. He is coming — and all the earth will be held still at His word.
If you want to be a part of His new creation, you need only ask and to find life, just St. Paul says: “For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.”
For those of you who are raiders of hell with the Messiah, hold fast to St. John’s exhortation: “And now, dear children, remain in Him, so that when He appears we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.”
I know the shame of not remaining in Him. But I’m growing in that confidence, as my Messiah shows me the way of eternal life.
You’re not stuck. You’re not beyond redemption. You are not hopeless. Respond to the cry of Christ, follow Him, and He will make you into a new creation.
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Shane James O’Neill is the Editorial Director for ProvenMen Ministries. He is currently working on a graduate degree in apologetics at Liberty University’s Rawling School of Divinity.