Saturday, December 19, 2015

Is Sexual Sin a Want or Need?

Taken from

By Joe Dallas

Gratification is immediate and short-lived. Satisfaction, even when it requires gratification delay, is a long-term payoff.

Compare this to the difference between hunger and appetite, and I think you'll see what I mean. When your body requires food, it creates hunger pangs to satisfy that need. The hunger message is honest; it tells you what your body really needs, and when you respond by eating, you satisfy its requirements.

But along with your natural hunger, you may have also developed a large appetite, which is a desire for certain types and portions of food. If you overeat, that's usually why---your appetite claimed you needed more food (and probably food of a different sort) than your body required.

Appetite is dishonest in two ways. First, it disguises itself as hunger by saying, "I need," when a more honest statement would be, "I want." If you don't indulge your appetite, you'll find you can do with much less food than it demands.

Second, appetite often demands the sort of food you really don't need. Haven't you noticed that when your appetite is up, it usually doesn't call for broccoli? Mine sure doesn't. It wants cake, milkshakes, and barrels of red meat. In other words, it craves gratification---the quick intensity of rich foods in large quantities---rather than the foods my body needs to truly satisfy it.

Let's take this idea further. When you go for gratification rather than satisfaction, you pig out. Since no one loves pigging out more than I do, I understand the joy of stuffing, chugging, and munching on foods rich in grease, fats, and starches. It's so gratifying---so immediate and intense. And for the moment, I'm a happy man.

But the happiness soon gives way to any number of discomforts: digestive problems, sluggishness, shame over my gluttony, and a general sense of being a loser who can't control himself. Only then do I realize (for the thousandth time!) I've sacrificed hours of satisfaction for a few minutes of indulgence.

When I diet successfully, though, I delay gratification and learn to eat what my body really needs. For the moment, yes, I'm a bit uncomfortable when I choose the salad over the burger. But when I delay gratification, the discomfort soon gives way to enhanced physical performance, higher energy, heightened self-respect, and the peace of being a man who takes care of himself properly. And I realize, gratefully, that this time I did it right. I earned hours of true satisfaction by sacrificing minutes of gratification.

When you sexually sin, you're gratifying an appetite that is inherently dishonest. It convinces you that what you want---the porn, the adultery, the hooker, the ritual---is, in fact, a need. And who can deny there's immediate impact when you say yes to that want? Intense sex can be amazing, all-encompassing, and utterly gratifying.

It soon shows itself, though, to be the sensual counterpart to pigging out, as pleasure gives way to discomfort---shame, disgust, guilt, fear of consequence, decreased self-respect, spiritual sluggishness, lost money, wasted time, broken promises, and perhaps even the general sense of being a loser who can't control himself. Only then might you realize you've sacrificed hours of emotional, mental, and spiritual satisfaction for a few minutes of indulgence.

There's a good reason for that. Let's look at the eating example again. Your body can only be satisfied, in the truest sense, when you fuel it properly. Even if you crave certain unhealthy foods, if they're not what your body is built for, then they'll eventually bring you more discomfort than pleasure.

Likewise, if you've truly been born again, then you've received a new nature that can only be satisfied, in the truest sense, when you fuel it properly. Paul illustrated this to the Romans when he asked, rhetorically, "How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:2).

Notice he's not just saying sin is wrong. He's also pointing out its futility by showing the general futility of doing anything that violates your nature, even though it's pleasurable. Because if an activity is against your true nature, it can gratify but never satisfy.

For that reason, you'll go on reaping any number of uncomfortable feelings when you sexually sin. Count on anxiety, depression, shame, irritability, or despair, and count on them growing with time.


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