2 weeks ago we discussed talking with your kids about SEX, and last week we did some basic transgression annihilation training (or “how to kill sin,” for those who prefer smaller, less hardcore words).
Continuing on the topic of sexuality, I want to address something I was really good at during my teenage years (and still could be, if I wanted to): covering my tracks…
Inevitably each year in Clarksville, the kids will miss a few days of school because 7 snowflakes are forecasted to possibly fall from the sky…maybe. Sometimes it happens, sometimes not. We soak in those days off either way.
It’s always fun when it actually does snow and we can bundle up and enjoy the winter wonderland for a bit. My girls like to play hide and seek in the snow…but it’s pretty easy to find them. Just follow their tracks. When it’s my turn to hide, not only am I easy to find, but they barely even have to risk getting their feet cold because they can fit both feet in one of my footprints.
It’s nice to see my tracks in the snow, because I spent most of my teenage years covering my tracks. Not my actual footprints, but my internet browsing history mostly. Also some of the magazines I viewed when no one was around, or things I did with my girlfriend before we made up a story about where we had been. I was good at it. So good that I only got a caught a couple times throughout my teenage years.
But that’s a bad thing to be good at. Here are a couple things I’ve learned on the topic of covering tracks…
You’re not fooling everybody.
You may be fooling a lot of people, but God can see it all. Erase your history and browse in stealth mode all you want, but God sees it all. There is no escaping the all-seeing eyes of God. And although viewing sexually explicit content hurts all human relationships, it’s hurting your relationship with God even more. Whether you realize it or not, it will manifest itself in your life beyond your secret habit. It’s kind of like your friends who own a dog and they think their house doesn’t smell like dog. They’re so close to it that they can’t tell the difference. You’re so close to your problem you can’t tell how it’s affecting you.
The upcoming generation needs tracks to follow in.
The world will leave plenty of footprints for our kids to follow, but those will lead them astray. Our kids need footsteps to follow in that will lead them where they need to go. Paul told the early church, “Follow me” or “Imitate me.” Do you live a life worth following?
YES? Good. Stay consistent and on guard. Your steps are worth following, and there are plenty of people looking for steps to follow in.
NO? Do something about that. It’s not about what you’ve done; it’s about what you do from here on out. From this day forward, things can change.
It’s so freeing to live a life you don’t have to hide.
For so long during my teenage years, any time someone mentioned, “Hey, let’s get together to talk,” or “Can we chat for a minute?” I went into panic mode. “They must know something.” “How could they have found out?” My mind would race, my heart would pound, and I would instinctively think of ways to cover my tracks and lie my way out. It’s a terrible way to live. The good news is, you don’t have to live that way. The Bible makes it very straightforward…
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. – Proverbs 28:13 (ESV)
My assumption is that you want God’s mercy. Anyone in their right mind does. God has made obtaining it very straightforward (not easy).
Step 1: Confess.
The Bible gives 2 channels for confession:
- Confess your sin to God for forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
- Confess your sin to each other for healing (James 5:16).
Step 2: Forsake.
Burn your bridges so you can’t go back. Fight it. Invite accountability. Stay open, humble, and honest. And never cover your tracks again. If you begin to access a site, watch a video, or go somewhere that you’d have to erase or lie about, you shouldn’t do it. And if you do, go back to step 1 and repeat.
You can’t earn God’s mercy, but you can enable it by confessing and forsaking your sin.