1 Corinthians 10: 12-13.
This verse played in my head ceaselessly for about two weeks or more before I had my first kiss and made out. That was four years ago and I was 23. So you may say, boohoo, at 23? What’s the big deal? Your mates were dropping numbers. But since this is my story and not my mates, just try to read on.
That it happened meant that I obviously didn’t listen to the word. And I thought I stood. I was okay. What made it funnier was that a few months earlier, I had been attracted to another guy. Like, the totally ‘IT’ kinda guy who I was still wishing and dreaming I would become more than friends with. Yet, I was on another man’s lips. Thank God it didn’t go down as the flesh would have wanted (Amen? Amen!)
But the real import of this action did not hit until two months later while reading Karen Kingsbury’s story of Katy and Dayne Matthews.
In one surreal moment just before their wedding, Katy and Dayne were playing on a private beach and laughed themselves to the sands, falling on each other’s face. It was then, in the heat and excitement of the moment, she realized how easy it would have been to lose all cares and just go on if Dayne hadn’t lifted himself off the ground. That was the moment she realized how self-righteous she had been every time she wondered about her friends that couldn’t keep it together. The same thing rang in my head two months after.
Sure, I’d had opportunities in secondary school and in the university, but there just wasn’t that pressure for me. Things just passed over like it was nothing. I’d walked with guys late at night in school and people would be suspicious but there was just nothing. All the sweet talks… no effect (sorry guys). There was probably only one guy that would have gotten that close but it just didn’t happen. So I was cool. And to be honest, I didn’t think much of it. I wasn’t feeling like a baddo or one strong girl. It just wasn’t a conscious thing. I was okay.
It was there at the experience that I realized that my ‘standing okay’ was probably because I had never been pushed… not because I was on solid ground.
Until that moment, I had never had cause to make decisions based on my emotions; at least as far as a guy was concerned. And I remember that day vividly, I had more than ‘one way of escape’.
See, after that, I kept telling myself that it will NEVER happen again. Ah, my Lord and my father in heaven, no more smacking on another man’s lips that isn’t my own! No more hands… well, no more ‘things that are okay because it’s not really sex or close to it by human standards’. Can I come out and say that it didn’t happen again much more later? Nope. It did. And this time, the bug was stronger than emotional curiosity. And when I had finished dwelling on less important issues, I started questioning my values, my life and my place in God. Drawing back is one of the most difficult things to do, like an addiction. It sometimes doesn’t make sense to the senses.
But when it gets to those points where logic and reason becomes a far-fetched concept, those are the times that we are really tested. And that is when you realize that you can only take so much heed. Standing is not a question of how strong you are, but the hand that holds you there. It’s about the grace of God that keeps us from falling and also restores us when we do.
For two reasons, I wasn’t going to post this. One, this is a small matter for some people. You may have done worse, but I can tell you that God’s grace is just as available. Big or small, no matter what we do, His love is never measured. The only measured thing is in our acceptance and appreciation of His grace.
Secondly, I am putting this up; it’s like a testament. What if I ‘forget’ to flee every appearance of evil at some point again? What if I can’t resist that ‘a little more than the embrace with the warm breath (oh dear)’ moment? What if it goes further?
Well, no use being afraid of these things happening or running from them because you’ll most likely trip and fall. Instead, rest in the arms of God who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His presence without fault and with great joy. Rest in the confidence that His love is not conditional on your mistakes and shortcomings. It is easier to do well when we live from the point of freedom.
See how Verse 13 assures us of a way of escape (in Christ), will we take it?