I Gave in to Temptation

 by Chuck Snyder
 co-chaplain for the Seattle Mariners

 

This reader who struggles with lesbianism raises some extremely important questions about the impact of our sins upon our relationship with Jesus. The following is Part 3 of her email exchange with Chuck Snyder as she asks for help in her struggle to avoid what she knows is a sin. Click here to read her first letter to Chuck, Is This a Birth Defect? or her second letter, What if I Keep Sinning?

Dear Chuck,
Thank you so much for your response. I find comfort in talking to you.

I came to know Christ on June 7 a few years ago. I still remember the date very clearly because that night I experienced something I have never experienced before in my life. Subsequently, I learned that it was the touch of the Holy Spirit, and I was full of confidence and faith. My heart was opened (spiritually) and I was so willing to call Jesus "My Lord" and believe that He died for all my sins. I felt so grateful that He saved me out of the pit of death. I made a promise to myself that I want to live a spirit-filled life, righteous and free from sin.

I claimed the promise of 2 Corinthians 5:18, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come." I was so thrilled to learn about this and I told myself that I would never engage in lesbianism again. I hated those old days. Now I have the strength and power, through Jesus Christ surely, to deter all thoughts and temptations whenever they appear.

Since the day I accepted Christ, I have been tempted by four different women. Each time I would confess my temptation and repent, asking Him to give me strength to overcome. That worked for the first three women, but eventually I did succumb to temptation with the fourth. The worst part is that she is someone I introduced to Christ. She accepted Jesus last year.

Now both of us are in a dilemma. We have stopped our act for right now.

In the past I have been rather zealous for the word of God, evangelizing a great deal through e-mail. I felt the power of the Holy Spirit helping me with all God's words as I evangelized. But now, my zeal to evangelize has totally evaporated into thin air. I do not even feel like attending church. I know I need help.

Thank you, Chuck, for your responses so far. May our Great Lord continue to bless you with wisdom.

Your grieving Sister-in-Christ

Chuck's Response
Thanks for getting back to me. I wonder if you are trying to be perfect? Sanctification is a PROCESS -- salvation is an event. As hard as we try, once in awhile in a vulnerable moment, Satan wins the battle. We grieve, but we need to quickly ask God's forgiveness, and then guess what, he does. HE FORGETS OUR SINS. Here are some scriptures that talk about this.

"He has removed our sins as far away from us as the east is from the west." Psalms 103:12 (Living)

North and South meet at some point. If you go North for awhile, eventually you will begin to go South because of our round earth. However, if you go East you'll ALWAYS be going East. Or if you go West, you'll ALWAYS be going West. The two will never meet.

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." Acts 3:19 (KJV).

"For God was in Christ, restoring the world to himself, no longer counting men's sins against them but blotting them out. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others." 2 Cor 5:19 (Living). You're probably too young to remember blotters, but we used to use pen and ink in school. We would blot the ink to keep it from smearing, because it dried slowly. However if you blotted it too quickly, you took all the ink away. God's "blotter" erased all of our sins.

"And I will be merciful to them in their wrongdoing, and I will remember their sins no more." Heb 8:12 (Living). I take God at His Word when the Bible says He will never remember our sins anymore they are forever out of His memory. What a gift that is.

"It was good for me to go through all of this bitterness. You have delivered me from death, and have put all of my sins behind Your back" Isaiah 38:17. I love the picture of God reaching around and putting my sins behind His back where He can't get at them. God forgives our mistakes, so we can forgive others for their mistakes as well, and help them go on.

Now does that mean we can just sin knowing we can ask forgiveness? Of course not. We have to make every effort we can to run from temptation, and to make sure we don't put ourselves into the position to fall. We do this, not because God might punish us, but because of the awesome gratitude we have for God choosing us and protecting us and preparing an unspeakable future with Him in heaven. So you failed, now ask God's forgiveness with a broken heart and take steps not to be in vulnerable situations. And, of course, Satan, the accuser, will come along to remind you of your failures, but tell him, "Buzz off, you slimy old serpent!" You are pure and perfect in God's sight. 

Chuck Snyder
 

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Contact Chuck: chuck@chucksnyder.org
Updated 05/24/2005