Truth or Consequences

From all those I have confronted, dealt with, or heard about who have fallen into sexual impurity, two paths led them astray. The first is subtle deception. This is an almost passive series of thoughts which include rationalization, ignoring the warnings of a sensitive conscience, the consistent erosion of one's walk with Christ, and tolerating things that were once intolerable.

The Scriptures include direct warnings against deception. In fact, we are frequently commanded not to be deceived. For just a few examples, see 1 Corinthians 6:9–10; 15:33; Galatians 6:7–8; and 1 John 1:8. Interestingly, nearly all these warnings about being deceived are found in a context of sexual and/or moral impurity.

Second, there is the path of deliberate action. Once the mental roadblocks are cleared away, the excitement of "stolen waters" becomes sweet to the transgressor's taste. Make no mistake about it, the pleasures of sin—those erotic excursions into secret experiments with forbidden escapades—are both enjoyable and stimulating. They may yield only temporary delights, but they are enough to make one's carnal appetites crave more.

Again, God's Word addresses the issue head-on: "Flee immorality" (1 Cor. 6:18). "Flee" means just that. Get out! Don't let yourself get cornered. Counteract those weak and vulnerable places in your psyche by taking practical steps of resistance.

Let's return to a few pertinent Scriptures. They are to the point; therefore, they will sting. But hopefully that will help get your attention. Whatever you do, don't excuse sinful behavior by claiming you are "addicted" or "victimized." Those terms only help you escape responsibility.

"Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Or can a man walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched? So is the one who goes in to his neighbor's wife; whoever touches her will not go unpunished . . . . The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; he who would destroy himself does it. Wounds and disgrace he will find, and his reproach will not be blotted out" (Prov. 6:27–29, 32–33).

Burned. Scorched. Punishment. Wounds and disgrace. Reproach. Forgiveness may come. The affair(s) may end. Restoration may occur. But the consequences will not go away.

God's simple formula is truth or consequences.

The risk of falling into sexual impurity increases when we start tolerating things that were once intolerable.

Charles R. Swindoll Tweet This

Taken from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson.

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