Professing to be a Christian and being one is truly a challenge. It’s a greater challenge when you are asked to answer the questions the world throws at you. It’s not another day when you’re asked to stand up for what you believe in, what you profess yourself to be. It’s not an easy thing to speak out volumes at that time for each word that you say will be marked, noted down and maybe rehearsed back to you for a very long time.
My friends and I were hanging out in college after school hours. While we were enjoying our chats, one of them seemed to be rather busy in downloading some file from his friends mobile. It didn’t seem rather different or notice worthy, but however the others seemed rather fascinated with it. It didn’t bother my attention till they began talking over it. And to my surprise it was porn. Now that indeed troubled me at that moment. I began to feel restless being there at that time as I just couldn’t feel at home.
To add to my uneasiness, they were my good friends who were so enthralled by those porn videos. While I was just about to slip away, one of them noticing the restlessness on my face, curiously put forth this question, “Haven’t you ever watched porn??”
A numb silence griped my ears as the question echoed through my ears. As of a fact that literally shook me leaving me speechless. Other than God and me none knew my heart better. What could I say? Could I tell them that I too am a victim of this terrible disease? Could I tell them that it was my weakness somewhere down within? I was left stranded. How would they understand my problems are different from theirs, if they ever counted theirs as a problem? What they considered as a pleasure was a struggle for me. What they considered talk worthy, was a disgrace for me. Would they understand that I as a Christian am not supposed to be doing such stuff and though I hate it, it keeps sticking back? Would they understand all of this?
If I would have to agree, it would mean a completely different thing to them. It would make me no different than them. I had to choose between truth and lies. I had to choose between saving my identity and identifying with them. More importantly, I had to choose between the test of God and the temptation of Satan.
The next few moments were a literal face off with my friends. They looked at me with anxious eyes while I looked at them with confused and shocked eyes. It was a decision far too difficult for me to take at that moment. “Are you going to say something or not? Don’t worry we all watch porn and are frank about it. It’s ok if you watch porn,” my friend said again urging me to say something.
To them I was different. To them I was someone who was different in choices and decisions. To them I was someone they knew who wouldn’t go with them wherever they went. To them talking about porn was something that didn’t digest in me, was well known to them. In spite of all this, this question seemed rather interesting to them. They eagerly waited for my answer. But I still looked confused and awestruck by the question.
Could I be a hypocrite? Even before the question could actually digest in me, I held my nerves and nodded affirmative. But they weren’t going to leave me there. Another wanted me to speak it out. I mumbled, “Yes”. To that another asked to confirm, “So, you watch porn, right?”
The latter question was different from the earlier one. It was an open challenge thrown to me. Am I like them going to fall into this misery over and over again? Would I want to be a part of it again? Giving a second thought to it, I paused and then said, “No…”
When I look at them, I see them as people who were unknowingly addicted to porn. One of them said that he didn’t have anything to do at home. So he rather would watch porn videos than do anything else. Others would watch it passionately and faithfully everyday. Did their conscience ever prick them? Or was it just peer pressure and sweet addiction?
My “No” shouted louder than my “Yes”. What didn’t digest in them is that I didn’t want to watch porn. One of them said, “I’ve got a really good video. Maybe we can watch it together later sometime.” I was kind of embarrassed because it seemed to them as if I didn’t have resources. Hey I’ve internet at home. Can’t I use that if I want to get more ‘resources’? Did I look to them that dumb or innocent? “No, it’s fine. I don’t want to watch it,” I promptly replied.
I’m happy I looked dumb, weird, not cool, and different to them. But it meant a lot to me to be ‘God’s own fool’. Maybe taking that stand was difficult. It wasn’t easy to do all that without God helping me. Though I was spiritually very weak that day, God helped me. Yes, I’m not at all perfect. Yes, I’m not that good as I look from outside. And who would know that better than God. He knows how bad I am from inside. And what a way to open my eyes! And what a way to put me to shame in front of the world! And indeed what a way to lift me out of that shame through his grace!
And as Petra writes in one of their songs,
Just reach out and he’ll reach in Take your broken heart and make it whole again. It don’t matter who you are and where you’ve been Just reach out and he’ll reach in.