You want to do something, you want to do it so badly sometimes, but you won’t do it, because then you will feel guilty. Welcome to the life of bondage. “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (1 Cor. 6:12) It makes little difference if it is food, sex, drugs, drink, porn, pick your poison, whatever it is that you are dealing with is never going to completely disappear until the moment that you are glorified, the exact same time that you will lay those burdens at the foot of Christ and He will burn every one of those crosses.
Individuals who say that they used to be addicted, if you prefer that word, to something in their lives over a very long period of time and then tell you that Jesus took all of that away are most generally lying right to your face. There is always a vestige, even if it is a miniscule part of that desire left in us, if it were not true, why would the last fruit of the Spirit we are told to bear be self-control, control over what if not selfish, self-centered desires. The person who spent twenty plus years as an addict to anything even after several decades of serving Christ is still going to remember those particular moments of the “pleasures of sin” (Heb. 11:25) with fondness at times. They may never touch a drop again, or overindulge in food or turn the computer on for the sole purpose of pursuing those pleasures, but they do not just disappear, these are the crosses in this respect.
This is the sad point about this letter to you today though, the only reason that most people will not occasionally indulge themselves in these long past desires has nothing to do with the love they have for Christ, it is because if they succumb to them, they will feel bad, the feelings of guilt will return. Our greatest desires in the area of sin are exactly equivalent with our remorse after we have committed them. If this were not true, then the majority of these displeasing pleasures would not be done in secret, the knowledge of them would be known to all. Why do you think the serious junkie could care less if anyone knows he is high, why does it not bother the drunk to be seen at the bar every night, or the individual that could care less what people think about their weight. God has given them over to a reprobate mind, (Romans 1:28) embarrassment has become an unfamiliar word to them, shame is no longer felt or seen in themselves, truth is what they have decided to make it.
Shame, personal shame, is the only thing that keeps all moral laws on this planet working, without it, all will do as they please, everything they do will seem right in their own eyes. This is why it is beyond rare when you find a fellow born-again believer who is willing to assist you with your burden, they do not know how to make personal judgements anymore, all of their judgements are righteous, Spirit-filled, Scripture based judgements. If you meet more than one of these individuals in your entire lifetime, count yourself blessed. But even more rare than these God-fearing individuals are those who are ready and willing to share their most deepest burdens, those who want to open up to someone, anyone in the Lord that will listen and offer assistance to them. When these two believers are placed together, I can guarantee you that that is where the Lord is.
The only reason that most believers do not do what they desire to do in the flesh is because of the possibility of personal, negative emotional consequences, it rarely has anything to do with their love of Christ, with their desire to be like Him, to never dishonor Him. Self-control, the last fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 is only done for selfish reasons in them, and God is never glorified when we place ourselves above Him. Paul knew these facts, “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Romans 7:19) It is time we learned them.
If you think you and Jesus can carry this burden alone, no disrespect intended, then just what in the world did He put other Christians around you for, if they are just rubbing your shoulder and telling you everything will be alright, get away from them. You and He may have to do this alone, but whether or not He is all you need, prepare to deal with it your whole life, no matter what it is. If He blesses you with a burden-bearer, one who is willing to carry them with you, then you are doubly blessed, but do not expect one to arrive at your doorstep, as I said, they are rare indeed.
Here is the best way to address this issue, much prayer and supplication, it is the way the Lord has promised to us that will give you the strength to get through each day. Last, but far from least, become that person, put all judgmental thoughts behind you, love and care for someone, make their burdens yours. Why do you think that there are more people in training to become psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors than there are in the profession at this time, why do the brothers and sisters in Christ always seem to seek out the pastor, where are the men and women of God who are supposed to be filling these gaps. Perhaps it is time to stop fighting yourself, perhaps it is time to go and find someone and help them instead, I can guarantee you that whoever they are, they have a burden.