hopequest blog

Ever Compare Your Recovery To The Recovery Of Someone Else?

As sons of Adam, we have a propensity to classify our sin in one of two ways: we’ve broken a rule (black and white legalism) or we’re not as bad as that other guy (comparative liberalism). The danger with a legalistic approach to life is that we can justify certain thoughts and behaviors if we are careful not to break stated rules.

(For example, since the Bible never mentions the word “masturbate” explicitly, it can’t be sinful to masturbate.) And if we tend to compare our actions with the behavior of others, we can always find someone acting “worse” than us and feel smug about our own condition. (“I just look at pornography. That guy has had dozens of affairs. I’m not as sinful as he is.”) The truth of the matter is that God is not really looking at the behaviors we are doing; he is concerned with the motive of the heart behind the behaviors. That’s where sin starts—in our hearts…

…Whenever we look to sex or substances or work or ministry or whatever to meet our desire for love, acceptance, significance, security, comfort, or control, we are committing the sin of idolatry…

…The sexual thoughts and behaviors you are struggling with are not the primary sins in your life. They are sins resulting from a choice you have made to look to things other than God to meet needs only He can fill. At the core of your sexual addiction is an idolatrous heart. That means that no matter how you classify your sin in an effort to justify your thoughts and behaviors, God sees a heart that has forsaken Him. And from that reality, you cannot run or hide. You have been living dependent on your own resources instead of His, and in doing so, you have sinned…

– Troy Haas, Building for Freedom

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