I grieved upon seeing this picture on a social network. It seemed as if someone found pleasure in mocking Christians, can’t blame him though. However it is essential for non-believers to know that not every Christian is a hypocrite. TD Jakes in his book, Life Overflowing states that, “Some believers become comfortable living the double standard, enjoying the reputation of righteousness while continuing to dabble in the sins of the world. Of course the common observation is that “everybody is doing it”, but the truth is that not everyone is doing it-whatever it is. It doesn't matter if everybody is having sex with everybody else; we are called to live by a higher standard. We are no longer part of everybody; we are part of the body of Jesus Christ.”
Of course what non-believers can’t comprehend is the fact that wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction while the narrow gate is strait, and only a few walk in it. If they could put themselves in the Christian’s shoes, they would see that it is utterly foolish to mock someone who is striving to deny his flesh. I'm certain that followers of Christ would also like to do what everyone else is doing- you know, fornicate without feeling any sense of conviction, and masturbate without feeling any shame or remorse. It is not hypocritical for a true follower of Jesus to err, for it is part of our belief as Christians that we are rebels at heart and will continue making mistakes. Many people don’t read their bibles and claim that they are “reading” the Christian but it is s unfair to judge God’s truth by the bad behaviour of those who claim to be His followers. Read a human being and you will be disappointed, read your bible and you will be transformed!
What Typically Happens
Regarding the picture above, although non-believers assume that every Christian who falls into sin practices hypocrisy, what typically happens is that a devout follower of Christ commits sin, in this case, fornication. Perhaps at the heat of the moment there was no protection so the Christian bears the negative physical consequences of the fornication. There is a chance of that happening the first time around but for a true believer it seldom does. God is always ready to cover our shame and faults and give us yet several chances to repent and follow Him. If however, the believer continues to sow in fornication without repentance, sooner or later he will bear the physical and spiritual consequences of disobeying God. There are instances perhaps where one deals with the consequences the first time around such as a child out of wedlock, this I believe then is the will of God for the Christian’s life. He will work things out for the good of the believer while He seeks to glorify Himself through the situation.
If it happens that from the initial mistake the believer reaps visible consequences of sin, non-believers would then assume that the believer is a hypocrite. It is up to the believer to shun out their judgment, dust himself up from the ground, and continue living a life that pleases God. It’s not over. (People who grew up with us believe they know everything about us, even though they don’t. People who know our past can interfere with our futures. They enjoy feeding us information about our former mistakes and failures. They may even actively try to stop us from becoming what we were born to be. However, all they know is what we’ve shown them so far. Dr Myles Munroe). If again it happens that the believer doesn’t reap the consequences the first time around, he should eternally be thankful to God for mercy, learn from the mistake, and desire never to go down that road again.
A contrast between rising and remaining down after falling
Brother Watchman Nee once wrote, “In our spiritual life God never deprives us our freedom. Unless we actively cooperate, God will never undertake anything for us. Neither God nor the devil can do any work without first obtaining our consent, for man’s will is free.” There was a brief season in my life after being a true follower of Christ of being literally sexually frustrated. This was caused by allowing certain factors in my senses that triggered the sexual drive. As a result, I opted out for masturbation. It pleasured me for a moment but when it was done it created an even intense hunger for sexual pleasure. I’d tell myself, “This is the last time”, but before long I’d find myself back in the pit. It seemed as if it had a hold on me, like some sort of a drug to ease my void temporarily yet I was walking around unfulfilled. People might say that masturbation is not mentioned in the bible so it’s not sin, and for a moment I bought that story, yet I knew I was disobeying God. Firstly, I knew that I was a hypocrite because I was telling people not to masturbate yet I was intentionally doing it. (They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Mathew23:4). When I read that verse I knew that the Holy Spirit was pointing out the hypocrisy in me. (On the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. Mathew23:28). The Bible says that anything that is not of faith is sin, and when you masturbate or fornicate you are not living in faith. You are being rebellious towards God indicating that, your sexual drive is more important to you than His presence. So you are going to take matters in your hands and satisfy yourself since it’s YOUR body, YOUR life, YOUR will!
When You Rise
Sexual immorality is a common area where most believers fall. They remain in their sin embracing the lies of the devil who says they are hopelessly defeated. I also believed that lie but God’s grace and mercy kept me hoping in God’s deliverance. Jesus always makes a way out, He is our break through! When you sin your spirit dies, meaning it becomes insensitive to the Lord. You will then be able to sin terribly without feeling any sense of sinfulness. You may jump in the church, offer tithes, be involved in leadership, update statuses, but you’re dead and you know it. You might fool people but you can never fool God nor can you fool yourself. The moment you make a choice to repent from your sin, God will bring back His light and heavenly nature to you. He will make you come alive again. Jesus is real and still wants to manifest Himself to you like in the old days yet with fresh encounters. It’s never too late to return to Him. Do not give up on yourself; do not give up on God, because He will never give up on you!
"Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light."~Micah7:8
Tips to Overcome Masturbation
· Read and pray the Word. If you don’t know where or how to begin, you can checkout the prayer points tab.
· Get out of bed as soon as you wake up and get busy pursuing your goals for the day.
· Don’t handle your sensitive parts of your body when you’re alone and bored.
· Serve in your church. I am a home cell leader and this gives me a great responsibility to live a holy life for the sake of the people I am leading.
· When the temptation is intense, go out for a jog or any kind of physical exercise and praise God in tongues or earthly language, but preferably tongues.
· Always remember that Jesus’ presence is better than a moment’s pleasure. Demons can only tempt us but ultimately we are the ones who choose to sin.
What works for me might not work for you so always ask the Holy Spirit to guide and lead you!
I can honestly tell you that there is never a single day that passes without me being tempted several times in a day to masturbate, but I have learned to deny myself. Hypocritical Christians are quick to quote scriptures that talk about happiness, prosperity, money etc., yet they overlook the scriptures that command us to live holy and deny ourselves. I thought to myself, “I’m doing all these good things, going to church, updating statuses, yet as soon as I get to my room I rebel against the God whom I claim to love and serve?” Jesus says if we claim to love Him, then we should obey Him. I do not write this claiming that I’m now strong or whatever but just to emphasize that although I might fall again (God forbid), I still desire to live in obedience to God. Obedience is better than sacrifice. We might give our tithes or even give money to the poor but if we don’t obey God it’s pointless. (Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith. Mathew23:23). Romans12:2 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, for this is your spiritual act of worship.” Christ should be magnified in our bodies, not our tithes, not our church attendance, not our ministries, but our bodies. Be it by life or by death, it doesn’t matter which way!