Looks like I may have a ton of these, so this is collection 1 of Reflections
|Prompt: "Note: I moved on to a better movie, J..."
I moved on to a better movie, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's writing/directing debut Don Jon. I'm really impressed with his work so far, even though the subject matter isn't for everyone. He also stars as a guy who's addicted to pornography and trying to navigate the relationships in his life. What's fascinating to me about his character is that he devoutly attends church every week and goes to confession for his sins... but just repeats the same sins (extramarital relations, watching pornography, and the... uh... resulting activities) over and over again.
The movie got me thinking about people who know what they're doing is wrong, but continue to do it - sometimes over and over again - relying on the fact that someone has promised them absolution down the road. What do you all think? Take the religious part out of it if you prefer... the real question is, "If you know you'll be forgiven no matter what, does that justify behaving in a way you know is wrong?"
Maybe it's an age thing. I find very few people (myself included) that are able to be 24/7 devout in their 20s/30s.
I haven't watched the movie yet but I can wholly identify with JGLs predicament. I don't think I'm selfish but I know I'm human. That's not an excuse, it's a fact.
Everyone has their own personal moral compass of what's "acceptable" in the eyes of God and what's not. I LOVE my church, but a surprising amount of attendees that I interact with have no problem cursing. Not sailor speak per-se but casual s-, d-, and even b- bombs from time to time. I on the other hand do NOT think this is acceptable behavior by anyone, saved or not.
Just over Christmas, I was helping with audio and the lead instrumentalist was running through his intro on stage. He was asking a bunch of soul searching questions: Would you this? Would you that? After about the 3rd run through he decided to punctuate his last line with "Bitches." I think I was the only one to actually laugh out loud, ironic since I'm sure I'm the one who curses the least out of that bunch.
Now, I don't have a gilded tongue but I assuredly hold myself to a higher speaking standard, not just religiously but academically. Sure I think certain language is inappropriate at any time and for mostly any reason, but I also despise casual cursing as a writer. There are just TOO MANY words in the English language to use the same 4/5 foul ones.
Do I think I'm better or somehow more enlightened than other members of my church? Absolutely not. We all have our crosses.
Mine would probably be sex. Porn doesn't do it for me like it does guys but I've been known to dabble. I lost the V-card 5 days after my 21st birthday. I wanted to wait till marriage but...come on. I'm proud for waiting so long. I'm also happy that my first time was AMAZING and I'm not ashamed to say it. I only had that one partner for the first two years and we only did it sparingly. Then I turned 23...
Personal business short, I've had more than 1 or 2....or 3 partners. I grew up in the church and I'm not 'proud' of my sexual conquests and past endeavors, but neither am I ashamed. Why? Because I know myself. I make it my business to know myself and I KNOW that had I denied myself those pleasures I would have done something worse.
Worse like what/how? I probably would have sacrificed a ton of my virtues JUST to be in a relationship, ANY relationship, with some young guy that I was not destined to be with. I see it ALL time with young girls. They don't want to be a 'ho' so they stick it out with some butt-hole that refuses to treat them right b/c he knows she's not going anywhere. That's not me.
Last year I decided to go on a sex fast. I actually made it an entire year without sex!!! It was amazing and did wonders for my mental and spiritual well being. Now the fast is over I still canoodle from time to time but it's MUCH less than it was before the fast.
In the end, everyone has their own journey. It's asinine to demand everyone be perfect and resist the urges God gave us 100% of the time. It is also the HEIGHT of arrogance to expect everyone to make the EXACT same mistakes you did. Because apparently the only way people won't judge someone is if the person of their ire is only as imperfect as they are, meaning "It's only ok to sin if you sin the same way I sin, because my sins are some how less than yours". Make sense? Of course it doesn't!
No it's not right to sin just because you know you'll be forgiven, but it's our duty to fully realize ourselves and ask the hard questions:
If I resist this time, will I be able to resist the next? And the next? And the next?
If I continue to resist what will take it's place?
Does continuing to resist affect my life in other areas?
This is why people say 'they just need to get laid'. It's been my experience that people who do NOT give in to their baser instincts on occasion are ruder, bordering on angrily psychotic. And/or they are just miserable/pessimistic people in general. They are also the FIRST to judge others, not for hypocrisy sake but because they are JEALOUS that the person has the audacity to be happy in the midst of their battle with sin.
What do I give up if I don't resist?
What's the worst that can happen to me mentally, spiritually, and physically if I do give in?
It's a battle every day. The goal is to keep fighting. It's ok to lose a few battles, so long as your ultimate goal is to win the war with most of your honor and a smattering of dignity. ;-P
Title inspired by Steve Harvey - Don't Trip... He Ain't Through With Me Yet! (2006)