Every Wednesday we’ll post something about doctrine and recovery. Hope it helps.
Renouncing the God of Me
When I repented of sexual sin back in 1984, I nearly drowned in grief over my failures. I was forced to look not just at my wrongdoing, but at its effects as well. And that meant asking myself questions I’d avoided for years.
I’d been a Christian six years before I gave myself permission to start using porn, engage prostitutes, and give myself over to every form of sexual vice, both natural and unnatural. And I was a former minister to boot! So when I backslide, a minor scandal soon followed.
Now, upon, turning from it all, I wondered how God must have felt when I first walked into an Adult Bookstore and said, in essence, This matters more to me than You, so I choose this.
And what about my old friends, people I’d both known and ministered to? How had they felt when they heard I’d backslidden? How disappointed they must have been, and how angry they had to have been with me! It was impossible to believe I hadn’t stumbled some of them, but how many? And had my open, wild rebellion encouraged any of them to do as I’d done?
That was too much. I was forgiven, yes, but now I was also incredibly ashamed as I looked at the wasteland my behavior had caused. And worst of all, the more I thought about the wrong I’d done, the clearer it became to me that I was powerless to undo it.
So I started praying daily for forgiveness, conjuring up and confessing every sin I could remember. And while I ransacked my memory to be sure there weren’t any un-confessed sins slipping through the cracks, I felt God’s still small voice tugging at me.
“You still don’t get it,” he seemed to be saying.
Get what? Some particular horrible action I didn’t want to face?
“You’re real sin, which came long before the actual sexual sins. Idol worship, one in particular. You. You made a god of Joe Dallas. Everything else you did sprang from that, and where did it get you? So instead of finding every little act you’ve committed, try renouncing the false god you constructed.”
That’s my story. And I’ve been renouncing that false god – sometimes effectively; sometimes poorly – ever since.