Question: Going Numb Over My Sin

Anonymous asked:

What do you do if you’re no longer remorseful about a sin? Specifically for lust/pornography/masturbation. There was a breakthrough and holding off for a while, but when i fell more recently, there was no remorse in my heart really…

My dear wonderful friend: double-high five and long awkward hug. You are winning.  Please consider the sweet delicious irony of your message.

1) You cared enough about not-caring to message me.

2) You are aware that you feel no remorse, so … that’s remorse.

3) You’re aware of the word sin, which means your heart is already in the right place about moving forward in victory.

I think one of the biggest lies a Christian believes is when feelings somehow dictate the progress of growth and maturity.  Do you know who else doesn’t “feel remorse” after sin?  Or feel God after sin, for that matter?  Pretty much mostly almost definitely everyone.

Let’s ask this a different way.  I promise I’m not trying to be snarky and I’m saying this because I love you.

Should I only not punch children when I feel like not punching them?

Should I only not do crystal meth when I’m already in a good mood?

Should I only not do 150 mph through a parking lot when it’s empty?

You get what I mean.  If you were to tell me, “I wanted to just not wave nicely to that driver who cut me off and maybe even flip him my longest finger!” — well by golly, you’re a human being just like me.

While there is certainly a case for those who go completely numb over sin (1 Timothy 4:2, Ephesians 4:18-19, Hebrews 3:13), I just don’t believe you’re in that category.  Even if you were, you can still come back from that.  I’ve also met guys who abuse grace like a diet pill after a hamburger, and even though God’s grace can never be exhausted, those guys were a-holes.  You’re not in that category either.

You know: I have never really found that remorse actively prevents someone from sinning again.  If you think that works, it’s actually the exact opposite.  People who get really regretful over sin tend to enter moral exhaustion, and will eventually sin more to alleviate their guilt.

I do think that remorse points to a reality that something is wrong in human nature — but even if you were the world’s sorriest guy, it’s not a motivation to overcome your issue.  I’ve seen dudes sob like babies over their consequences only to run back to their old life the next day.  Maybe they thought their sobbing was enough to make God turn a blind eye.  That’s what you call the worldly sorrow, and that won’t work.

My friend, no matter how you feel or don’t feel: obey God anyway.  Do not believe for a second that this is legalism.  As I’ve said before, effort is NOT legalism.  The reason why God gave us commands is because He knows what’s best for us and He knows what will most lead to life — and some days you’ll be on fire for His law, and other days you won’t.  We’re a mess of complex human emotions that can be affected by a spicy taco or an off-night of sleep, so don’t feel bad if you feel bad and don’t feel bad if you don’t feel bad.  Obey God anyway, and by His grace — not your feelings — you will make it.  Jesus not only understands your moments of numbness, but He will restore your dead heart with his very own as you walk with him.

— J.S.

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