Humiliation, disgrace, embarrassment, degradation, darkness…Shame. How have I become someone who would do something like this? I know better. My parent’s taught me better than this. Yet I can’t stop. I know it is hurting those I love. Well, I thought I loved them. Would anyone who really loved them keep doing the things I’m doing?
The tension between the sin in my heart and my very inflamed conscience was overwhelming. It was years later that I finally was able to label that sick feeling in my gut: shame. To know it’s name helped a little and when I was able to name it, I saw how common it was.
The whole issue of pornography causes a great deal of shame. Just about the only place you will hear about it in pop culture is on late night comedy as a punchline. This would lead you to believe that pornography use is not common and only lowlifes look at it. Unfortunately, it is all too common. So why is it so common and yet so rarely discussed.
We as a people do look at pornography, but the vestiges of our Victorian heritage remain. We are ashamed as a people of our behavior. One symptom of this is that I can see the volume of people who look at my blog. As of this writing, I have been about 650 views and only about 10 comments comments that weren’t from me. As I discuss these topics, to attach your name to this blog would mean that you were somehow associated with…well…this shameful topic.
Please don’t take this as me begging for more likes and comments. That’s not the point. I’m thrilled that you came to blog whether or not you leave a comment. But look into your heart. Ask yourself why you feel that shame. Is it because you are looking at porn yourself? Maybe you think that only the frightfully evil look at porn and don’t want your name associated with it. Maybe your husband is looking at porn and it is too painful to discuss with anyone. And maybe you just have nothing to say. Again, I want to reiterate that this is not about the likes on my blog. I want you to learn more about yourself. Look at your own heart.
The Shame we Should Feel
Let’s face it. Porn is shameful and we should feel dirty looking at it. We are supporting men and women who are harming themselves by stripping in front of a camera. We are enabling them to hurt themselves while they enable us to hurt ourselves. And it seems that increasingly debased kinds of sexual images follow. It grows on us until we are seeing nudity that it increasingly divorced from any real person. We want things that can’t and shouldn’t exist. Our souls shrink to the point that we think only about sex, yet it is not satisfying to us.
What a waste! What a shame! The human soul was designed for much bigger and much better pleasures than the image of a woman prostituting herself to you! The shame we feel is more than justified. The prophet Daniel said it well.
To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him. Dan 9:8-9
And how blessed we are that mercy and forgiveness belong to God.
Set Free From Shame
That sick feeling deep in your soul, the one that says that you are sick and twisted; it is right. You are sick and twisted, but not without hope. There is a way to get rid of your shame: give it to someone else!
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” Romans 10:9-11
Jesus chose to stand in the courtroom of Heaven. The Father will read the charge, “You looked at pornography repeatedly. You knew better. You even went to church and pretended things were going well in his spiritual life. You watched as women degraded themselves to please you. You applauded those girls as they destroyed themselves. Are you guilty of this?!?“
“I am,” Jesus will reply.
“But he didn’t!” will fill my heart. How can he take the blame for my stupidity!? But Jesus did take that shame from me and chose to be guilty of all my shame. He was beaten for a fool like me. He took my place.
And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 1 John 2:28
If I abide in him, I do NOT have to shrink in shame when he comes back! In fact, I have no right to be ashamed any more. The shame I felt was mine. The forgiveness I feel is mine. God, for His own mysterious reasons, forgave me. And if God says I am clean, I am clean indeed.
The only real shame would be to turn Him down.
Up Next on 10/7: Porn and the Christian Guy: Part 8, Prepared for Battle