I recently found a “goals” type of school paper I wrote when I was just 16 years old. Behind pretty words about my new-found faith and elaborate life goals hid a girl who was hopeless.
A girl entangled by pornography and sexual addiction.
I clearly remember when I wrote this paper. It was the beginning of my junior year. My teacher at the time, “Mr. Boothe,” asked us to write a paper on what we hoped to accomplish during the remainder of our high school careers and what we hoped to do after graduation…and beyond.
I had just come off the high of “getting saved” at church summer camp. I was ready for things to be different, or at least perceived as such. No more being the quiet girl afraid that everyone would know about my dirty little secret. You see, I finally had a new mask to hide behind.
The mask was a “relationship with God.” In reality, the only relationship I had was with pornography and the men I manipulated in order to be close to me.
I began to play the part of the “good Christian girl.”
Surely no one would suspect me of having any secrets.
I had everyone fooled.
In the paper I write about how I wanted to save the school. Then go into the community and save everyone else. Show everyone how great God’s love is and tour the country as a worship leader and have a big Christian family.
And… and… and…
But I didn’t have God fooled.
He knew every bit of who I was and what I was hiding. Sure, I got saved at camp and I believed that some variant of that decision was real… He knew that I didn’t believe He could love me as much as everyone said He did. And even while I had heard at summer camp that “His grace was sufficient for me” — He couldn’t touch my sin.
No matter how “good” it all sounded, it was never enough for me to actually surrender my behavior. But it was certainly enough to hide behind. And it became increasingly easier to keep doing what I was doing all the while “repenting” with each unmentionable indiscretion.
When we go on about our sinful behavior (perhaps even repenting before we’ve even acted out) we cheapen His grace.
We cheapen Him.
It would be another 2 years and numerous rock bottoms later before I really got it.