Everyone thinks dirty thoughts from time to time.
I’m talking everyone from powder-puff Porn Stars to puritanical Sisters of Mercy.
Everyone. Me too.
It could be a glance, followed by another. Did I just see—? Whoah. Or it could be a “what-if” exploring forbidden territory, even for just a few seconds—undressing others, imagining things that don’t belong in our minds, hooking up, wondering what it would be like to be with him, or her. You know what I’m talking about.
Is it getting hot in here?
We strive for victory, but mostly live with defeat. Along the way, we lump “struggle” together with defeat, as though the presence of temptation is wrong in itself. The truth is, struggle is a good sign, proving we aren’t just caving without a fight. Just as courage isn’t the absence of fear, victory isn’t the absence of struggle.
On the other hand, some of our struggle persists because… are you ready for this?
… We want it to. We keep our indulgences locked up in the basement, ashamed to parade them around but unwilling to cast them out either. And we would never name or confess what icky things we’re spoon-feeding feeding down there in the rank cellar of our soul.
Have you ever thought of starting a “dirty thoughts” journal? Me either. That’s just gross, the thought of all that festering skank piling up in one place. No one must ever know what secret thoughts we think, what unholy paths our minds wander, or how often.
A dirty thoughts journal may sound perverse, but all of that junk is coming from somewhere, already growing and breeding in a dark, moist corner of our hearts. That should gross us out even more. And, I should add, it’s too late—God already has these books on the go, recording all our thoughts and deeds in real time, as we live them. Pretty nasty reading much of the time, I’ll bet.
Where to start?
Instead of wishing for less struggle, maybe we need more. More resistance. More Braveheart-worthy battle cries and lines drawn deep into shifting sand. More hills worth dying on and more Samurai leaning into their swords. More pray-ers wearing out their knees and flags being planted in rebel soil. More willingness to die in order to find the life that is truly life and more resurrection stories. More hardcore confessions and more radical accountability and more doing what it takes to choose purity in the face of carnality.
Why in the name of God do we believe that a fight to the death against dirty thoughts could be anything but messy, bloody, and ruthless?
I am living a life of victory over lust (Read part 1 of my 7 part blog series called MY LUST STORY). But while back of that beast is finally broken in my life, the shadow of that struggle still lingers. It has lost most its teeth and claws and no longer dominates my prayers, but neither will I let down my guard, because I am human—fragile, fickle, and more often that not, just plain stupid.
Loved, treasured, welcomed, redeemed, restored, rescued, and gifted—but stupid.