“i feel really fragile right now,” was how he described his situation.
It had been a hard day, and he had been greatly tempted. He went “cruising,” looking for some porn or an equivalent that would ease his disappointment. He felt the need for physical relief: both the pressure of life and the physical pressure building within him because he had not had sex in a while.
He spoke with me hours after indulging in masturbation. It didn’t deliver the promise of relief. Instead, there was guilt and shame. There was still just as much pressure as before, perhaps even more following his sin.
i told him that being fragile is scary because in that vulnerability you never know what will happen next. For example, will you fall into sin again, or will you get strength from God in the midst of temptation? It is in our weakness that we see His power perfected; God comes through for us and lifts us when we are helpless.
But this man was not sure God would come through for him. It seemed so often that God’s power was nowhere to be found when temptation came upon him.
i told him to take incremental steps toward righteousness. Incremental steps towards choosing God over sin. Incremental steps toward leaning on Him for strength.
Each time we move toward what is pure and healthy and good, it strengthens those qualities within us. It builds a pathway toward wholeness. And each time we choose to indulge our flesh, that twisted part of us is strengthened.
Fragility is a good first step toward desperation for the power and life of God, and that’s the sort of desperation every man needs to beat pornography addiction.