fighting for free hearts

Les Mis And Porn Addiction

As i sat in the theater watching Les Mis the other night i was reminded again of the powerful message of God’s love and grace that runs as a dominant theme in the story.

i also noticed, moreso than ever before, the way grace was contrasted with another plot line:  police inspector Javert’s belief that Jean Valjean’s past crimes defined him forever.  In Javert’s mind, Jean Valjean would always be prisoner 60421, a criminal without hope of change.

Javert’s perspective was that Jean Valjean was defined and trapped by what he had done, and despite the fact that Jean Valjean had served his sentence in prison, he would always be marked by his sin. Essentially, Jean Valjean would remain a prisoner even though the physical shackles had been removed because his identity would be forever defined by his crime.

les-miserables-crowe

For many in the church, this is the mentality they have toward people who commit sin.  And when it comes to sexual sin such as porn addiction, there is an inability or an unwillingness to believe that God truly changes.  There is a strange need we have to label and define people by their past actions, even when there are clear signs that true change has occurred.

In Les Mis there are several indications that Jean Valjean has become a new man, but Javert insists that Valjean is a criminal who remains unrepentant for his sin.  Javert will only see what he wants to see when it comes to Valjean. It is easy to get trapped into thinking of ourselves as beyond the reach of God’s hand to bring authentic change.  We can allow ourselves to be defined by our addiction.

But in Les Mis, and in real life, there is a powerful flow of grace and truth and change available.  Jean Valjean receives one act of grace and mercy when the parish priest gives him the candlesticks, rather than pressing charges and having Jean Valjean arrested for stealing.  From that one act of grace, Valjean is changed.  He decides to be a different man. He goes on to become a dispenser of grace to everyone in his life, even to Javert, whose life Valjean saves.

While Javert keeps insisting that Valjean is an awful criminal who should be re-arrested, Valjean continues to bless Javert and others.  You also see Valjean intervene to care for Fantine, his employee who is treated wrongly, and Cosette.

Valjean lets grace redefine him and redirect him. Porn addicts must do the same.

The Enemy, the world and some in the Christian community will try to label us as perverts and hopeless porn addicts.  They will say that we are beyond redemption. But the truth of God’s power and grace says exactly the opposite:  He makes all things new.

We need to believe that and live in the truth of the new creation (2 Cor. 5:7). The deepest and most true thing about us is not porn or even addictive patters. The deepest and most true thing is that we are forgiven and empowered to live very differently because of Jesus.

New year, new creation.

4 Responses to “Les Mis And Porn Addiction”

  1. papapound

    “For many in the church, this is the mentality they have toward people who commit sin. ”

    Ha, those who commit sin is all of them AND all of us. I don’t know of a sinless person in the church. So, yes, there need not be any holier than anyone thoughts or attitudes. There is only a community continually coming back to the Cross. The death of the Savior is what defines us. It is our sins that took Him there. Can we dare to commit yet other sins through negative thoughts about others who actually are just like us.

    Thanks for the refreshing view of grace. It definitely deserves a link back.

    Reply

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