On Monday evening the week of writing this, I got home from an awesome spiritual retreat. I was on a "spiritual high" as some would call it. However, in just a matter of less than two days when things took a bad turn. I went straight back to my old ways- the ways of "I know that it would please God to do the right thing (Doing my homework, reading the Bible, exercising, etc.), but I know God wouldn't mind at all if I did this other thing that isn't that bad (Procrastinating, entertaining myself instead of doing work, etc.)."
I am making this post out of shame and an ache in my heart. I have been trying to do many things to build my identity in Christ;
working hard to get good grades,
faithfully pursuing education,
working hard on doing chores for the family,
reading instead of looking at screens,
not watching things with blasphemy,
making friends in school so I can bring them to Christ,
having good sleep habits,
doing my complete hygiene routine every day,
being nice to my family,
keeping in contact with my Christian friends,
starting a blog in order to spread my insight into the word,
keeping a personal journal of notable things in my life,
fasting from YouTube and Netflix,
fasting from the internet entirely,
watching certain shows in order to make myself a better person,
only playing video games if it involves interacting with other people.
I have tried so hard to do all of these things as well as many more things in order to build my identity. But perhaps the most tragic failure of all is trying to be myself. I don't know how to be myself, because I don't know myself. Everything I know about about the Bible prevents me from seeking the pleasure I desire, so I am forced to sin in order to fill the craving. It's not drugs or alcohol, but long lonely hours on end of pure entertainment that distracts me from the real world of things that matter. Things that are made of matter, tangible things that are not imagination. I am trapped. Only by means of Jesus Christ I have ever felt free from this. But It doesn't last, I always came back to this way of life some way or another.
For it says in Romans 7:14-25
And much earlier in the Bible it says in Ecclesiastes 7:23-29So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
And in 1 Peter 5:8-10I have always tried my best to let wisdom guide my thoughts and actions. I said to myself, “I am determined to be wise.” But it didn’t work. Wisdom is always distant and difficult to find. I searched everywhere, determined to find wisdom and to understand the reason for things. I was determined to prove to myself that wickedness is stupid and that foolishness is madness.
I discovered that a seductive woman is a trap more bitter than death. Her passion is a snare, and her soft hands are chains. Those who are pleasing to God will escape her, but sinners will be caught in her snare.
“This is my conclusion,” says the Teacher. “I discovered this after looking at the matter from every possible angle. Though I have searched repeatedly, I have not found what I was looking for. Only one out of a thousand men is virtuous, but not one woman! But I did find this: God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.”
Because of these verses, surely I am not alone in this issue of my faith. Sadly, the more I read these verses the less they mean to me. If this keeps up, soon all that they will mean to me is great sorrow and grief that I can't do the right thing. I know it's not true that I can only do bad, as God has a way out. But the pain in the anticipation of the escape is soul crushing. I know this pain will end somehow, but I thought it already had.Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.
In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.
I hope this rambling and nonsense makes sense to someone, and somehow a coherent prayer is spoken that convinces God not to destroy me on my 491st sin. Oh, how I have let down my Lord! My blind human eyes can not see the purpose of this pain! I am supposed to be happy because of my great investment of faith, but instead of reaping joy I reap pain and shame!
However, I don't blame God for all of this. Instead, a different factor must be contributing to my sin. Perhaps it's my humanness, a demon, or Satan himself. I have indeed seen the truths described in the Bible play out in the real world, but the more I know the more grief I feel for unbelieving. The more I attempt to reform myself, the less my self-proclaimed constitutions mean.
Reader, please heed my letter. Please don't let it fall into the abyss of time yet. Please pray for me. Please don't just say you'll pray for someone, but actually do it! Do it often! Feel great shame and pain as I do when I lie to people when I say I will pray for them, such as when I only say a tiny thoughtless prayer if any prayer at all. Surely, I must not be alone in my suffering.
And quite tragically, since I wrote this in only one night while tired I will look back at this letter and scoff, saying it's just another futile attempt at trying to do something to try to stop this. Help. Sorry that I am not sorry.