I regularly hear from those with broken hearts and broken lives. Sometimes it’s an email from a young adult who read my book. Sometimes it is a text message from a student in distress. Sometimes I have no idea how an individual got my contact information.
I’ve noticed something. It seems most of the broken-hearted fall into one of two categories:
I’ll call the first category the clueless. Clueless people are spiritually lost. They grew up with little or no understanding of purity and wisdom. They probably had some vague idea of “it’s better to wait,” but this isn’t enough in our world. Their relationship decisions were ultimately based on undisciplined passion and misguided notions.
Unfortunately, ignorance does not protect us from consequences of sexual sin. The clueless often contact me in the midst of tremendous pain. Sin, while pleasurable for a season, always leads to long-term suffering.
But there’s another type of person I hear from all too often. These individuals have learned about God’s standards of purity. They have committed themselves to Christ. Many of them grew up in a Christian church, and some are even actively involved in ministry. Despite all of this, they end up making the same decisions as the clueless. Some of their stories, in fact, turn out to be most scandalous.
How does this happen? Well, I’ll call this second group the careless. As the name implies, they simply let their guards down. Instead of fleeing sexual temptation, they walked right into it (see 2nd Timothy 2:22; 1st Corinthians 6:18). They embraced the idea of purity, but failed miserably in practical application.
The stories of the careless make me think of Paul’s warning to the Corinthians:
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
-1st Corinthians 10:12
With all of this in mind, let me leave you with a few admonitions:
1. Just one mistake can be incredibly costly. This is especially true when it comes to sexual sin. If you believe this, live your life accordingly.
2. No one is above temptation. If you think there’s something you would “never do,” please think again.
3. Purity doesn’t happen by accident. If you want to keep your purity, guard it!
These are some of my final thoughts in Learning the Hard Way: True Stories of Heartbreak, Healing, and Hope (I expanded upon this post for the book).
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