I’ve heard this from a lot of Christians, and it’s not ok. If we want to heal and be all that God intends us to be, then we have to completely reject this mindset.
First of all, your words have power to shift reality. When you speak things over yourself and others like “we’re going to struggle with this our whole lives,” you are word cursing yourself and them. Don’t believe me? Take it up with God.
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
“Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.”
– Mark 11:23
Second, you have power to shift reality. Both as a human being and as a bearer of the Spirit of the Living God. Both of these realities have been outrageously cheapened in the Church.
The power you have as an image bearer of Yahweh is, in and of itself, astounding. If you doubt that, I’ll refer you to the previous scripture. Jesus didn’t say “whoever is a Christian” can move mountains with their words and faith. He said “whoever.”
That promise isn’t even accounting for the Holy Spirit, who starts living in you when you enter into Jesus. This means that every Christian in the world has more power living inside them than every military in heaven and earth combined. That’s more than enough power to beat your porn addiction, insecurities, anxiety, and depression.
It’s vital that we Christians with the humility and boldness to acknowledge our failures start learning how to process our shame in a healthy way. If / when you screw up, you need to confess that and confess that you have nothing to do with that shortcoming. That was the past you. It’s not the you that exists here and now.
This is crucial. If we internalize the emotion of shame, we will identify with it. When we identify with shame, we reinforce the same behavior that triggered it. If Jane the Christian masturbates to porn, she will (hopefully) feel shame. If she starts feeling sorry for herself in the midst of that shame, she will identify with it. “This is who I am,” she will say inside. And thus she will have set herself up for the exact same sin. If you believe you’re a porn addict and that you will always want it, then you always will. And this goes double if you actually say this out loud.
By the way, it’s not enough to just say the right things. Every Christian knows the buzz phrases. “My identity is in Christ.” Yes, it is. And it’s past time you take that statement to its logical conclusion. The real you is in Jesus. Do you think Jesus has any capacity or desire in him to sin?
By the way, this doesn’t just mean that you can stop acting on whatever your pet problem is. You can eliminate the desire for it all together. If you can’t imagine yourself ever wanting to eat organic leafy greens instead of synthetic foods covered in sugar, start thinking bigger. Because you can. Consider this verse:
“By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.”
-1 John 4:17
Do you think Jesus on the throne right now has any desire to binge on junk food or masturbate? He’s not simply obtaining from these things. He has no desire whatsoever for them. And guess what? If you’re a Christian, neither do you. Not according to God’s word.
The goal is not abstinence from whatever you’re in today. It’s total reprogramming. Until we shoot for that, we will limit ourselves, our relationships, and what God wants to do through us.
We need to stop thinking like defeated slaves and have the courage to start believing that we can change. We need to take responsibility for the fact that we haven’t changed. God has put His Spirit in us. He is with us to a greater degree than he was the saints in the Old Covenant. We have no excuses.
I can tell you from personal experience that true change is possible.
I’ll give you a few examples. For starters, I used to be addicted to porn. I haven’t even wanted to look at it in 8 years. Masturbation took more work, but I don’t do that anymore either.
I also used to have a reputation for being incapable of being present. My attention span was very poor and I had very little awareness of my surroundings. My car insurance is still really high because I got in two wrecks in 3 years, and they were both my fault because I wasn’t paying attention. My old boss actually recommended I start playing chess to increase my attention span, because I kept zoning out while he was talking to me.
But since I started doing Root Work, I don’t have this problem. In fact, recently I had a cop tell me that I should apply for the force. He told me his peers agreed with him (I’d just met them all while they were on duty). I asked why, and he said it was because I was so aware of the room and everybody in it. They’d all seen it and had been very impressed. No one would have ever said that to me a year and a half ago.
I could go on, but this isn’t about me. It’s about you. You are better than you think you are. You’re stronger and more capable. If you have a background like me, you’ve probably been taught in church that you’re powerless and that God is the only one who can do anything. It’s true that you can’t do anything without Him, but through Him you can do anything. And that last part is what many of us need to shift our focus towards.
So start pursuing real change. Don’t settle for anything less.