The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

I really need help! I really want to serve God wholly surrendered! But recently I've fallen into an old sin of receiving nude pics. I was asked and I sent one. I know that's not straight up having sex, but it is sin! I want to stop. I've fought back, but I give in more than I resist. I pray and pray. Please I need help. I don't want any sin! I really don't want to go back to the world doing sinful things.


Answer

"No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it" (I Corinthians 10:13).

You are correct that it is is wrong. It is basically homemade pornography. Thus, the sending and receiving of nude pictures is inflaming lust both in yourself and in others. As Paul said, "But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them" (Ephesians 5:3-7).

What is bothersome is that you sent nude pictures of yourself simply because you were asked. The proper response would have been to delete the person from your contacts and block their number. "Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals"" (I Corinthians 15:33). Therefore, there is something you are leaving out -- why you feel the compulsion to send nude pictures of yourself. That is something I can't guess from what you've written, though I have a few suspicions. Is it because of the thrill it gives you? Are you trying to impress someone? Are you starving for attention?

In every temptation there is a response that you can always make that doesn't lead to sin. In this case, this isn't an accidental sin. You had to take off your clothes, take a picture, and send it to another person. At every step you could have refused.

I suspect that one problem is that deep down you don't consider it to be that bad of a sin. You don't see the other person. You tell yourself, "At least it wasn't sex." Thus, you are excusing sin by rating sins. That is something a Christian cannot do. All sin is bad. All sin can lead to hell (Revelation 21:8).

I know all sin is bad. It was more of feeling I owed the person. I want to repent from that way. It started with an addiction to pornography. I truly regret it.

I sent the picture after I was sent a picture. I already felt extremely guilty for receiving, so I felt I owed them when they asked. I really wish I could redo that whole day.

Minister, I'm not looking for a freebie or just want to get away with it. I just want advice on how to overcome this whole thing. The big problem is the fleshly lust. I'm so tired of losing this fight. I want to serve God with every fiber of my being.

Will I be forgiven? And what do I do? I don't want this to be okay to do this, so I can freely do it. But I want to be free from it. I'm not looking to justify it, but I'm looking for repentance.

It appears you make impulsive decisions based on wanting to please another person. Consider what Jesus said, "In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 7:12). In essence you've turned this backwards. You treat others as they have been treating you.

You want to do what is right; therefore, decisions cannot be made by your current feelings, since those constantly change. "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered" (Proverbs 28:26). Nor can you make impulsive decisions because you will not think about all the consequences to your choices. "Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, and he who hurries his footsteps errs" (Proverbs 19:2). Instead, make your choices in advance, based upon what the Bible tells you are the right things to do.

Since pornography is wrong (See: A Look at Pornography and Lies Pornography Tells Men), then the correct decision, regardless of your feelings is that it gets eliminated. No more looking at pornography, no matter how badly you want to look because you know it is wrong. Since the sending of nude pictures is a form of pornography, if you receive something like this, you delete the image and you block the sender. You go through your phone and delete all the nude pictures you have stored there.

When a person truly becomes a Christian, they are forgiven of all past sins. Trouble is that many people call themselves Christian without learning what God requires of them. See: What Must I Do to be Saved? When you are a Christian, sin sometimes traps you. In those cases you change your behavior (II Corinthians 7:10-11) and then tell God you were wrong (I John 1:9).