There are certain Bible verses that, unfortunately, we don’t find out to be true until after the fact. For me, James 1:15 happens to be one of those scriptures. James 1:15 reads,
“Then when lust has conceived it gives birth to sin; when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” (NASB)
It pains me to see that there was a certain point in my life when that verse perfectly played out. Before I share my personal story, let me give an explanation of the verse. I give you my explanation in the form of a personal paraphrase, “If lust is not dealt with, if lust goes unchecked; it will lead to a sin. If that sin is not dealt with, if that sin is left unchecked, it will lead to a habit and eventually a life style. If that lifestyle is left unchecked, if it is not dealt with, it will lead to death.” That being said let me back track a bit. In fact, let me bring you back 40 years.
I was 4 years old and came across something that would taint my innocence. My father mistakenly left a magazine open on his bed. It was one of “those” magazines ̶ the kind that children should never see; actually the kind that no one should ever see. They were the kind of pictures that portray beautiful and delicate women in perverse and pornographic ways. Even unto this day, those images are burned into the memory banks of my mind. Those images caused something to click in me; fed something in my sin nature. That lust would eventually lead to an act of sin. That act would lead to habitual sin, and that habitual sin would eventually lead to death.
That one little moment, going back so many years, started a chain of events that manipulated me. My perspective on the purpose of women was forever perverted and that insatiable lust that I thought would bring me so much pleasure, left me with an almost unbearable amount of pain.
Like so many, I confused lust and love, and found myself involved in physical relationships at a very young age. A physical relationship without the right foundation will almost certainly end in failure; and my first marriage did…end in failure, that is. Lust, resulted in sin, which resulted in death…the death of a marriage. And that failed marriage left me feeling like I wanted to die. Unfortunately, like every other lost individual, my strategy for dealing with the pain of my sin, was to go out and cover it up with more sin. I thought lots of alcohol and sex were the remedy for how rotten I felt… and within 6 months of a failed marriage, I found myself confronted with an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy.
A young frail, vulnerable young lady and myself, were confronted with a decision. Up until this point in my life I still considered myself somewhat moral and ethical. I mean, there are lines that I just wouldn’t cross. But I had crossed enough lines already, so buckling under the pressure came pretty easy. Now just a little more than 7 months after a failed marriage, I was an accessory to murder…two scared, stupid kids aborted a baby.
It was just a matter of time before we broke off the relationship. We were both so ashamed. I was so ashamed that I didn’t even want to look at her. It reminded me of what we…what I did. I tried to avoid her, and after several days, I agreed to meet her in a parking lot to talk. I showed up over an hour late. I wanted to play the coward and avoid the meeting altogether, but I knew I couldn’t. I pulled in and there she was, sitting on a curb, arms folded, rocking back and forth and crying. As I talked with her, we could barely make eye contact. We were so ashamed. After a lot of tears and confused communication, I broke off the relationship. I made my way back to my car as fast as I could. As I pulled out, I could see her in the rear view mirror, arms still folded, still rocking, still crying. It was at that moment that I realized that I had not only killed a child, I killed something inside of her…innocence…hope…dignity.
Lust not dealt with leads to sin. Sin not dealt with leads to death. In my life it has killed relationships, killed a marriage, and killed a child. All of this to say…if you are struggling with pornography, please get help. Jesus said, “If your eye offends you, gouge it out; if your arm offends you cut it off.” Jesus’ point was that sin is a serious thing…it destroys…and we need to be serious about dealing with it.
Jesus said in Mathew 11:28-30, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest…take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your weary souls…
A new beginning and a new legacy can be found in the arms of the Savior. Take it from someone who knows.