Seven Deadly Sins – Part V. LUST !

OK – it’s been quite a while since Greed so to recap….

i am trying to ‘cover’ each of the Seven ‘Deadly’ Sins – onesย which some believe we will go straight to Hell for – no eternal life in Heaven if we do ANY of these – so i hope none of you are counting on getting there any time? – Me? – now? (D.S. number 5) – i’m Doomed for sure ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

The aim here is to describe how the ‘sins’ MIGHT have been a part of our own lives and what if anything we have done to rid them from us – what things are we willing/capable/able to do to fend them off and avoid them for ‘good’?

Usually there are aย few ‘definitions’ to make the sin described more easily able to be understood and recognised then i have a go at starting the ball rolling ( so far of the 5 covered, only gluttony and maybe anger i felt were an ‘issue’ for me but – well, you be my ‘judge’) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lust:โ€“noun
1. intense sexual desire or appetite.
2. uncontrolled or illicit sexual desire or appetite; lecherousness.
3. a passionate or overmastering desire or craving (usually fol. by for): a lust for power.
4. ardent enthusiasm; zest; relish: an enviable lust for life.

(from Wikipedia)…
Lust (or lechery) ( Latin term is luxuria – same root as luxury!!) is usually thought of as involving obsessive or excessive thoughts or desires of a sexual nature. Unfulfilled lusts sometimes lead to sexual or sociological compulsions and/or transgressions including (but obviously not limited to) sexual addiction, adultery, bestiality, rape, and incest. Dante’s criterion was “excessive love of others,” which therefore rendered love and devotion to God as secondary. In “Purgatorio”, the penitent walks within flames to purge himself of lustful/sexual thoughts and feelings. (through Holy Fire?)

I think the key word here is ‘excessive’ – which is a bit tricky because who is to say exactly when a sexual desire is being held by someone to ‘excess’. Just as not everyone who eats is a glutton, not everyone who has sexual desire is guilty of lust.

God’s First Commandment to His Latest Creation, Man, was “Go forth and multiply!” so clearly, He thought sex was something we should have and there are times when many of us just don’t feel ‘in the mood’ so a few urges are no bad thing in and of themselves.

After all – we all gotta ‘eat’ – right?

So – Excessive sexual desire or desire for things such as power, fame, fortune, good looks (Cosmetic surgery or fashions? – Prada shoes, for example?) could all fit into the sin of Lust.

For me, the line gets drawn between ‘healthy’ and ‘excessive’ desire when it begins affecting adversely your or your partner’s, or kids’, or community’s, life.

Sometimes, it can be quite dificult actually determining that, and we are seldom the best judge of when something is adversely affecting our own lives as we are LOATHE to admit to ourselves that something has become a problem we are no longer in control of. We generally ‘know’ but won’t admit or take steps to change until long after we should have.

Now comes the tricky personal bit…

Like many before me i have had to face coming to terms with lust via a particular form… Pornography.

It has affected my life adversely for far longer than i care to recall, starting when i broke the law to steal men’s magazines from shops as a school kid for ‘cheap thrills’. I did this enough times to warrant it being labelled a problem, although at the time i only saw the problem being one of petty theft.ย 

It is only much later in life i see what the true ‘crime’ was and am learning to overcome it.

After i turned 18 and was legally able to purchase or subscribe to the magazines, the theft stopped and just a litle guilt semed the biggest problem – i never felt right buying a magazine form a female counter attendant.

After i met my wife to be (and for a time before as sexual needs were being met by girlfriends) i stopped with the magazines and found a healthier ‘outlet’ for those desires which i do not feel were excessive – at least i was able to stay in control and they never caused any harm in my relationships.

A gap of some twenty years or so lasted during which no real issue was being felt (with one ‘unnoticed’ exception that i am coming to) and then two things coincided to ensure a return of an old problem. Oneย  a relationship broke down, and, fatally – the WWW was born! Unlimited free porn if you knew where to ‘look’ – and then, even if you didn’t know where!

The combination of the two proved irresistable to a computer junkie like me ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Combined with a job where i could get free internet hi-speed access and printing capabilities to make copies of web images, i reverted to ‘form’. Not a high point of my life.

Worse was making a dumb mistake and leaving printed copies on a work laser printer for my Boss to find. She was NOT ‘amused’. I was not fired but it was fair to assume promotional prospects suddenly took a nose dive and i partly chose/was partly pushed out of a government position some months later.

But my BIGGEST problem i did not realise until later. As a result of oogling thousands upon thousands of air-brushed unimaginably well-photographed, sometimes synthetic goddesses with ‘perfect’ skin and bodies i had ‘conditioned’ my self to seek and respond only to the most visually beautiful women and this somewhat limited my ability to form relationships, especially as i tended to have a somewhat low self-esteem and a tendency to believe that if i was looking for ‘perfection’, then the odds were so were those women, and they could do better than me as a date.

Kind of shallow i know, but it took me many years to realise this and then to begin to do something about it.

Remnants of it linger still.

Pronography has not been a thing i have ‘lusted’ for now for a couple of years and while i still find myself attracted to ‘good-looking’ women i am able to see i do that and can catch myself if i ever begin to think that external beauty is what is important over the beauty within. Physical beauty is no longer my Prime factor in determining if i can have a relationship with someone – in fact, i look with scepticism now at ‘beautiful people’ believing that what is outside is rarely matched by what is in the person themselves.

It has taken a LONG time to get to this point – i feel if i had not given intoย that temptation as a 13 year old kid my life could have been a much happier and ‘balanced’ one in the long term than it has been.

How have i overcome lust?

Looking back to try and find what caused it… recognising my error i had carried unnoticed for over 30 years. (that external beauty is the only thing or that is the most desirable) and recognising more what Love is and how it differs to lust.

Now if i can JUST do the same for Cars as i have for women i might be in with a chance? ๐Ÿ™‚

So… any of you had run-in’s with a lust or two and have you made ‘progress’ yet?

ย 

Care to share a comment with us?

Phew: i’m glad THAT is over!

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32 thoughts on “Seven Deadly Sins – Part V. LUST !

  1. Hey Love,

    Thanks for baring it all so to speak. Very vulnerable and real. Your struggle is well, to coin a phrase, “Every Man’s Battle” which I’ve read and it has been a blessing to me and my life. As a former Playboy subscriber and internet porn surfer, I can relate to your struggle all too well. For me, i do not confuse abstaining from the socially unacceptable forms with victory over lust. I suspect I will struggle with lust for the remainder of my time here in the wilderness.

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  2. sitting here with tears streaming down my face.

    for what its worth…i am so proud of you.

    for recognizing this temptation and doing what you can to overcome it.

    and for being so honest and vulnerable here with us.

    that couldn’t have been easy.

    do you have any idea how blessed i feel to be called your friend? thank you.

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  3. Phillipians 3:12-14
    Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
    Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
    But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

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  4. Love,

    I love you more than I did before I read this. Thank you for sharing your heart…

    I’m so sorry you had this struggle, I pray you can use it for God’s glory now, and that there is no lingering guilt or condemnation,

    Love you so much!

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  5. When does lust become “excessive” is a very good question. There probably hasn’t been one day in my life when I didn’t have some desire for something someone else had, new car, better job, hot girlfriend, etc. I see this desire as natural and doesn’t become excessive until I begin to dwell on it, which I have in the past. It would become excessive when it changed my relationship with someone.

    Currently I have been too happy for too long to be really jealous of anything another person has.

    Sexual lust may still be a problem of mine as demonstrated by the fact that I have never had a relationship with a woman that lasted longer than about 6 months. I have never had a relationship where I could see my self living with one women for the rest of my life. My perception is that this is the difference between passion (lust) and love. I used the word “may” in the first sentance because I am very happy with my life. I do recognize it could be better, but my happiness leaves me without the motivation to want to change

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  6. Thank you all for your comments! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Ric – i may have had a victory over ONE specific issue with lust in my life, that of course does not make me immune to other forms – ones i have or am yet to face.

    It was a very BIG one though and hopefully i can use what i learned to answer similar ‘challenges’ – my lusting for an Aston Martin Vanquish for example – droool. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Tam – if only i had the chance to wipe away those tears ๐Ÿ™‚

    Your quote from Philippians was very interesting… not the least of which is for what ‘Saint’ Paul – the chiefest of sinners – but also the one few would place themselves besides in terms of Faith in and connection to Jesus Christ, as he appeared unto his Apostles in Israel, to whom we all owe so much today for his part in producing the Bible as we know it and who was therefore, we are led to believe, was inspired of God directly…
    said:…

    but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
    Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it
    .”

    If ‘it’ (Grace of God?) is a simple ‘Gift’ that we ‘have’ just by choosing to say we ‘accept’ Christ and feeling Him inside of us – how then that Paul could say, while being divinely inspired by God at the time, that he CONSIDERED he had ‘it’ not??

    I think all Christians need to consider Paul’s words here quite carefuly – there are going to be a lot of surprised expressions come His Return i feel.

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  7. Deb – might be a touch of Guilt left inside – but after this post and your and tam’s and Ed’s word things are becoming easier onme. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love you GG

    Ed – I’m honoured you have kindly accepted my ‘challenge’ to discuss your own ‘battle’ and what if anything you do to overcome it.

    You are indeed fortunate if you have looked inside and back at your life and consider you now have happiness, maybe not perfect happiness but some of the happiest people are those who are content with their ‘lot in life – that has been tough for me for most of it – and is still a battle i’m fighting in many areas.

    Like you, motivation to change is not a thing that comes easily to me – it is sometimes there – quite strongly, but perseverance to achieve my goals has been one area of my life i have longed to change but never quite complete.

    Sometimes i just end up ‘settling’ i am not yet convinced that is in my best interests – although neither i believe is chasing after everything you might ‘desire’ in life since as you pointed out human desire can far exceed their ability to achieve it’s fulness…

    I believe God has a plan to overcome that so that we may know JOY as seperate to mere ‘happiness’

    as for me wining over lust – as i said to Ric – that was just ONE specific form – no way have i conquered ALL lust in me yet.

    But i hold Hope in My Heart ๐Ÿ™‚

    And life goes on.

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  8. Love- I am so proud of you too! This is so real, and like Ric said this is every mans battle…also womens battle…Lust is a tough subject and you seem to have captured it! way to go!

    How about the lust of money, and more possessions…I think that may have been my lust…I know that GOD is always showing me and making me think things like…Is this more important to me that God? so lust to me is close to idolatry…maybe hand in hand…mmmmmm what do you think?

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  9. WOW… I have read your comments at Tam’s and never clicked on your blog. Today I am so Glad I did. (Now I have another to ad to my list)

    Can I ask how does Faith to help you deal with this?

    I know how Christ helped me in this area, and other men as well so I would love to here your perspective.

    And thinks for the honesty.

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  10. Well brother you aren’t alone in that respect. I think there are very few men who haven’t dealt with pornography to some extent or another.

    “Unlimited free porn if you knew where to โ€˜lookโ€™ – and then, even if you didnโ€™t know where!”

    That is so true. Porn marketing guys have done all they can to turn harmless things into porn site. If I simply reverse two letters in the name of a site I go to check wrestling news (those letters are the “t” and “l”- which is easy to do) the site that comes up is a porn site. The name has nothing to do with porn, it is only used to rope in unsuspecting folks who mess up when they type an address in the navigation bar.

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  11. love- you are indeed not alone in your struggles, or your adeptness at finding quick and easy sources. Heck, you didn’t even mention video… Males today don’t stand a chance with what’s on the Internet, and I feel sorry for all of us that have to deal with such temptation.

    In fact, the porn industry is absolutely thriving – and frankly, it built (e.g. financed) the Internet. Most of the innovation you enjoy today from PayPal to streaming video were originally designed to promote the porn industry. I’m sure most of you are aware of XXX Church, but just in case check out http://www.xxxchurch.com)

    For the record, Ric had me read “Every Man’s Battle” some months ago. I think he alluded to the fact that simply removing one form of temptation from our lives doesn’t really solve the problem; and I’m not really sure any of us will ever truly conquer this problem in our lifetimes.

    I asked the old retired guys I have coffee with at Paneras how old they were when they got over lust. These are Godly men in their sixties or seventies. Not one of them is over it.
    The point being – we’re all sinners, and will remain so until our dying day.

    Now to piggyback to the “why church is broken” thread – here’s a significant (if not THE) point: most denominations have created an environment where we as believers can feel pretty good about ourselves by establishing standards (primarily of visible sins) that we can fairly well eliminate and therefore feel pretty good about – dare I say, even proud of the fact that we don’t do this or that… But that only scratches the surface of our depravity. Generally untouched or seldom addressed is the things going on in our minds, our thoughts, motives, feelings, that are behind our actions. HUGE ISSUE.

    So, we men can struggle with our visual stimulus/sexual lust issues ad nauseum, and never get around to addressing the root issues – our selfish nature, our desire to satisfy our flesh rather than sacrificially deny ourselves physical pleasure. If you think about it, just about ALL visible sins are satisfying the flesh in one way or another – so it really is an issue of denying the flesh.

    I fear I’m rambling, but I wanted to make sure I joined in the encouragement that others have given of sharing in the struggle and/or empathizing with it. Love – you are not alone.

    Transparency…what a gift.

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  12. Love the comments – (be assured i read ALL of them, i just may not have the time to respond to everyone in good time, but i TRY ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    Princess! ๐Ÿ™‚ yep – lust is a biggy for all – not just us men and as i mentioned i feel good about ONE very specific issue it held over me i feel i have ‘overcome’ but by no means all of the issues lust raises have been faced yet. Lust for monay , possessions – certainly i still face issues over this and our society is NOT a help here – the urge to feed that lust is very prevalent – some might say our economy depends upon it? Good reason to be on/in the world and not OF it. Idolatry? there would be a connection – no sin exists cleanly independently of any other – all are connected in various ways in each of us. Making Money your God is not a good idea in my opinion. Money is a tool – we need to consider if we are using it wisely or if it is using us foolishly.

    love you Darla

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  13. Welcome CK! – Faith? Truthfully – i had little to no Faith when i began down this particular path, nor as i walked into the world of internet porn some 20 o rmore years afterward. But my faith grows more each day. i was fortunate enough to have loving parents and was raised in a society that taught me right from wrong and i never felt my lust was ‘right’ but had convinced myself it was doing no harm to others ( after i stopped stealing) Most of my ‘healing’ came from awareness and knowledge of what i had done/was doing Perhaps it was not mere coincidence that this awareness grew out of my growing interest in and awareness of a religious faith in me that i am sure is pretty unique – ie. non ‘mainstream’.

    I believe in the Bible – although not as literally as many, coming from a long scientific-based background in my life. i believe in Christ as the Model for all to follow – but not that you have to be calling yourself a Christian to do that – i don’t ( yet)!
    I believe in One God but not as many today seem to see ‘Him’ – but that just might be a matter of ‘perspective’/interpretation?

    If faith helped me it was not from any ‘direct’ call of mine -i did not ‘use’ it – whether or not it guided me to my ‘solution’, overcoming, is open to speculation at this point in my life. ๐Ÿ™‚

    One thing i will say though… i have read almost all of Christ’s words as displayed in the Bible (and elsewhere) and His word may have been at the forefront of my mind throughout.

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  14. BT! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so much – and forgive me – my visiting time is less than it once was – i am hopeful that the help you gave me concerning writing is going to be a great help to come ๐Ÿ™‚

    love you!

    TT – Yep – as Bad points out the mega money industry of Porn has a LOT of tentacles and devious way and a LOT to answer for in snaring our weaknesses.

    It is up to each one of us to get smarter, more aware, stronger and overcome those weaknesses that keep us down – true? He can help if we so choose.

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  15. Bad – i’m with you Bro’ ( who let the Kiwi (New Zealand native) in here?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    My posts on the 7DS were meant to increase our personal awareness of sins we ‘indulge’ our fleshy nature’s in – all of us – most of the time – each of us may have ‘one or two’ ( or all) in which we ‘specialise’. against which we must do battle to overcome. The idea was by seeing others’ issues and how the face and ‘deal with them we can gain clues/awareness of how to beat our own ‘demons’ – get fresh ideas on overcoming.

    i completely agree with what you wrote.

    i see it though that we should chop away at the ‘obvious’ ones first and get them ( the ‘easy’ ) ones out of the way so we can get to come to grips with the real problems ‘buried’ beneath them.

    it is not going to be an easy job.

    i’t impossible if we don’t ever start.

    “The point being – weโ€™re all sinners, and will remain so until our dying day.”

    Agree – however don’t just see that as the day we die/can no longer be alive here on this planet.

    He came to give us HOPE – REAL Hope, not the facade some carry with them to the grave.

    When we ‘die’ to our OLD self – the man of Flesh inside and truly learn to live IN Christ and IN the Father we can overcome all ‘obstacles’ one by one.

    The battle ‘here’ may never be ‘over’ but that does not mean we can not win some major wars and can learn to keep the enemy down and below us instead of always ruling ‘over’ us.

    Cutting away at the things that tie us to this earth and to our lusts can free us to move to higher things. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  16. I agree with b4dguy in that lust, the desire for sex, material objects, is something that we will live with all our lives. One aspect of becoming civilized is to learning how to control our lust. Married couples have made the decision to substitute love for lust, something I have not learned myself.

    The credit card is as big a symbol of lust as porn is. We use that little piece of plastic to buy whatever we desire, and don’t give sufficient, or any, thought to how we are going to pay the bills. We give in to our lust for a bigger car, house or the latest gadget. The bills however always come due. Often it’s our families, our children, who pay the price for our inability to control this lust.

    Regarding porn I use to see this as a harmless activity. No one was getting hurt. However every porn site that I viewed had pictures of girls who were obviously underage. Children are being sexual abused to satisfy our lust. Any research will show how too many of the “performers” are nothing more than sex slaves, forced to degrade themselves to survive. I don’t watch porn anymore, but it’s still there in my imagination and dreams.

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  17. Love — I want to point out two truths that I have learned over the years. These were not easily discovered, and are not easily received – but nonetheless I believe they are critical to our sanctification.

    1. While it sounds reasonable to overcome the “obvious problems” first before tackling the bigger/deeper problems, Jesus actually tells us to do the exact opposite. Jesus’ tells the pharisees – who “look good” on the outside, that is, they don’t appear to have sin issues – “First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” We need to work on our inner desires, motivations, lusts, etc. – then we will look on the outside like followers of Jesus. What exactly does that look like? I’m not sure…

    2. This is a little trickier to swallow, but I have become convinced that God does not want us to worry so much about ourselves, and knocking out the sin in our lives as he wants us to focus on the needs of others. We’re redeemed already; there’s nothing we can do to make God love us any more or less than He already does. All the time and effort we put into our personal pursuit of holiness, or sin-free living (especially and particularly on the ‘visible’ sins) is time taken away from sharing and living the Gospel to our neighbors. I am convinced that this is a lie of Satan to focus on ourselves, and not focus on the needs of thers. We need to take up our cross daily and follow Him, we need to put to death our own selfish desires – but all for the purpose of fulfilling His calling. I find that if I’m doing what He wants me to be doing in the moment, I’m less likely to be doing something contrary to His will.

    To some degree, this is an issue of semantics and/or focus. But I think it is imperative that any of us walking with God consider seriously His admonition to a) first clean the inside of the cup and dish, and b) in humility consider others better than ourselves.

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  18. Your lack of posting caused me to become slack about checking on you…so I click over and you’ve shared more of yourself than I ever expected. You have been truly vulnerable and honest, always a good thing. More honest than most of us are willing to be.

    I have always had difficulty with lust in every way, shape and fashion. It keeps me before my Lord. His power is the only way I know to keep my excessive passions under control. He is certainly faithful to show me the better way when I turn to Him for help.

    I love you, Love. My respect for you has risen even more. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  19. Bad spoke nicely to this.

    I have been where you have been. Magazines were the worst for me when I was a teen, but online options were too close as well. Tam and I dealt with this years back. It’s never gone, but I can truly say it’s no longer a force in my life. I always tried to fight it myself, but realized I had no power over it. Only God had the power to change me. He continues to do this everyday. replacing more of my desire with His. I am less interested in my needs and more interested in the paths He has placed before me. I know it will be a work till I see Him face to face.

    At church today, the statement was made that “only things with purpose have flaws” and “Humans focus on the flaws, God focuses on the purpose”. I agree with this wholeheartedly. When I stopped thinking who I wasn’t, God started making me into who I was supposed to be.

    Thank you for sharing your heart and life Love!

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  20. I’m sitting here crying, with knots in my stomach. *sigh*

    Love, you know we’ve talked about this before, privately. I’m crying b/c I so much hate what this industry does to people. Hate hate hate it. And to fellow believers, it just seems more awful for some reason. It shouldn’t, we’re all human, but it just breaks my heart. Porn has nearly destroyed my marriage TWICE, and it has left a mark on how I feel about myself because of the images I know I can’t compare to.

    To read through these comments and see that it TRULY TRULY does affect more men than people realize…. wow. *sigh* It’s heartbreaking.

    I love you so much friend. So so much. ♥ miss you too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  21. It’s affecting our kids too. No matter how good the controls, computer savvy kids can break through blockers. It’s insidious and eventually causes acting out. Sometimes leading to jail…

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  22. B4d – We really need to do ‘works’ in the inside of our ‘cup’ and not just do cosmetic surgery on that which others see from the outside – so true.

    Ed – I think that was wht B4d was getting at – not a lot of point not watching porn ( an ‘outside’ action) if we still bathe in the lust inside – we need to work on our understanding and thoughts within that keep us ‘prisoners to lusts of all kinds – like the desire to use the piece of plastic for self-satisfying lusts and use it more to better ourselves so we can do better for the world and our fellow man/woman.

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  23. Brent – I believe you are ‘doing’ what i am ‘thinking’ there are different ‘grouping’ of human beings who have more similarities than the different members of other ‘groups do’ one of those groupings has to do with how we learn – some by doing, some by reading, some by listening etc. I think we both have similar aims – just differing ways of experiencing them.

    God alone may have the power to change you Brent – but you have free-will and have the ‘power’ to let him do it faster – or slower – and what you DO affects how or if you ever change! – make no mistake there!) ๐Ÿ™‚

    love you man! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  24. Bless you Bwan – and Sis also. ๐Ÿ™‚

    lust was a biggie for me – source of most shame i held i feel good for overcoming one ver small part of the whole issue and still have much i could improve on – or remove from me there by seeking His help and being free and willing to accept it. That takes work for some of us – I’m thankful i eventually came to realise what i needed to to deal with the part i did.

    there’s a long road to travel still but one step at a time! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hang in there ‘Chelle walk the Path He shows you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    .

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  25. First of all I want to say thank you for sharing your story. You have no idea how it will impact lives in the end. It’s hard to be that transparent. And it takes a big man to admit to this, much less give details.

    More men need to know that they are not alone in this. Because this sin in particular tends to make people feel isolated I believe. The devil always wants people to believe that because then they are less likely to seek help, so they just continue on in it, and continue hiding it. And ultimately it will destory lives. Theirs and those that love them, and render them totally uneffective for the kingdom of God.

    Please feel free to leave transparent feedback on this blog series I’m doing anytime.

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