Responsibility for one’s actions is not a popular notion in this day and age. Today’s society downplays guilt and tries to make one believe that everyone should be able to live as they desire. Lust, greed, gluttony and all manner of sins are touted on every corner it seems. “Eat, drink and fornicate all you want” seems to be the mantra of modern society. You only live once so live it up! No one wants to hear that their actions have consequences.
There are even churches in which the consequences of sin are diminished. These churches focus solely on God being a loving God, instead of a loving and just God. In order to make their services more popular, many churches have forgone any mention of hell or penalties associated with living a sinful life. They have sacrificed much of the Bible’s teaching in order to fill their pews.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Roman’s 3:23). Everyone is a sinner; it is in our very nature. The most pious men are sinners, but willfully disobeying God’s commands is where most people go wrong. None of us can escape sin but we can choose to turn away from it. The devil prowls the earth searching for those who are committing sin to gain a “foothold” (Ephesians 4:27) through which he can gain access to one’s life in order to entice us to commit more sin. We also distance ourselves from God when we sin.
Often what we see as a trivial sin, such as the little white lie can turn into an all-consuming lifestyle of sin. The habit of sinning can become second nature without us even realizing that it is has happened. The burden of sin will begin to weigh heavy on us and cause us to feel fear and anguish which will ultimately cause a rift in our relationship with God. “Jesus answered them: Amen, amen, I say unto you that whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34).
Sin is never without consequences; not only for the sinner and those close to him/her but for society as a whole. As we allow ourselves to be immersed in sin, we lose our ability to love and be loved in the way that God intended. Relationships founded on lies, infidelity, anger, envy and so on are bound to fail. The divorce rate alone is testament to this. Families lie in ruin as a result of people being unwilling to put their selfish desires aside in order to fulfill the roles God has placed them in. Men and women commit adultery, spend recklessly, consume alcohol in excess, abuse each other mentally and physically and even fail to control their appetites to the point that they (and often their children) are obese.
One of the most destructive sins is that of lust. No matter what form it takes, lust damages not only the sinner but those he/she loves as well. Pornography is rampant thanks to the proliferation of the Internet. The world says viewing pornography is harmless and some even go as far as to say that it does not even harm the women and men who are part of the industry. Nothing could be further from the truth. Pornography distorts one’s mind from the way God intended us to view sex.
Any form of sex outside of marriage between a man and woman is not what God intended. We are bombarded with images of sex from mainstream media and many have become nonchalant about the notion of pre-marital and extra-marital sex. The culture of today encourages one to explore one’s sexuality without a second glance at any form of morality. Not only is this harmful to one’s self-esteem it can also have devastating effects on one’s life. Promiscuity leads to lack of self-respect, tarnished reputation, anxiety, inability to love or be loved properly and of course to the very real possibility of sexually transmitted disease, many of which can be life threatening.
Families are torn apart by infidelity; whether it is actual physical encounters or that of viewing others with lust. Pornography cripples one’s ability to love because it alters one’s perceptions of the value of others. Our culture would have one believe that most of the men and women who create pornography do so simply because they want to. In actuality, many women who have worked in pornography are speaking out against the industry and detailing the terrible prices they have paid for their involvement in it.
As quoted by Shelly Lubben who previously made her living in pornography: “I used to brag endlessly to fans and pornographers about my extreme “Italian” sex drive and how I loved making porn movies. I would go on and on about how I needed more and more to fulfill my insatiable appetite. I lied 100% of the time to 100% of the people. Lying is the native language of porn stars because they can’t afford to tell you the truth. Not only would it ruin the fantasy for their fans but more importantly, it would ruin the amount of their paychecks. Don’t believe porn actresses when they proudly proclaim they enjoy making porn movies. They’re ACTING.”
The lives that have been devastated by sexual sin alone are innumerable. Families are torn apart, women are degraded and children are often abused due to the influence of such sin. Viewing pornography distorts one’s perspective on sexuality. Women become objects to be desired sexually with no consideration of her value as a person. The portrayal of women in pornography is that of a sex-crazed goddess who can never get enough. The reality most men face is a wife/girlfriend who cares more for an intimate relationship instead of simple physical sex. The clash between this reality and the fantasy world of pornography often causes men to blame their spouse for not being the kind of woman they think porn stars are. They begin to criticize and demean their wife which often leads to self-esteem problems.
Families are destroyed everyday by sin ranging in nature from lying to adultery. Children are neglected, abused and abandoned in the name of addiction, selfishness and greed. The devil gains “footholds” in our lives and it is generally very difficult to free ourselves from his grasp. Sin detaches us from God, but prayer and acknowledgment of our sin can bring us back to the relationship God longs to have with us. When we ask for forgiveness and stop willfully committing sin we can become the man/woman God wants us to be.