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This One Area

This One Area
By Jonathan Jones

Several years ago a man in a group I was conducting make this comment, “Except for this one area in my life, I’m a pretty good guy.”

“This one area” he was referring to meant being a pedophile who had molested hundreds of young boys. My first thought upon hearing his comment was one of anger and potential rage, “How dare he make such a comment when he has ruined countless lives.”

In actuality, this man believed this statement to be true. This faulty belief was reinforced through the compartmentalization of his sin and a works-based theology.

I have thought about his statement through the years and realize this is how most Christians live out their lives. We justify and minimize our favorite sin while comparing it to more “serious” sins. We think, “It’s not like I’m out stealing from orphans and widows.”

We compartmentalize it away from the process of sanctification and avoid Scripture that makes us uncomfortable. We perform works-based mathematics to balance the books and minimize our shame and guilt. “I must be a pretty good guy for God to use me in his work.”

I believe we all have “this one area” in our lives, and this is especially true regarding the use of pornography. Today we live in a world where sexual images are freely accessed and come to find you. You no longer have to seek it out at the seedy corner store with the magazine enclosed in a brown wrapper. It will come to you. You no longer have to pay for it or wait until you are old enough to buy it. It will come to you free of charge, and it knows no age restriction.

There is almost no social disdain for those who partake in its use. In many circles, you are deemed odd if you do not consume it regularly. Most church-attending teenagers will tell you today that they know very few males who don’t watch porn regularly.

Now, due to the COVID-19 situation, children and adults are spending at least double the amount of screen time they did a year ago. The COVID-19 situation has been referred to as a pandemic for several months, but the pandemic of pornography use has been around for decades.

Every now and then we will get caught, feel convicted, hear a sermon on sexual sin, and feel bad for a few days. Soon we think, “Except for this one area, I’m a pretty good husband/wife/son/daughter/Sunday school teacher/pastor/ worship leader, etc. etc.”

But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28).

Christians have historically focused on the sins of the world and spent little time on dealing with our sins. It is time for the western church to deal with its plague of pornography.

Revival begins when we stop comparing our sins to others and place our sins before the holy, pure, and righteous God. We are called to pursue holiness and not compromise.

Jesus made it clear over 2000 years ago that looking and lusting was committing adultery. Jesus did not redeem us so we could be freed to repeatedly commit adultery every day. He redeemed us and freed us from the bondage of sin.

If you are struggling with the bondage of pornography addiction then know this fact: God is bigger than your biggest sin and affliction, and He can set you free.

If you or someone you love is ready for that freedom then give us a call or visit our website at perfecthope.org as well as our workshop options at workshops.

(Editor’s note: Jonathan Jones is the founder and president of Perfect Hope.)

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