- Lynda Savage, M.S., LMFT, LPC
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First paragraph from: Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, Reading from March 25.
My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. (c) l935 by Dodd Mead & Co., renewed (c) 1963 by the Oswald Chambers Publications Assn., Ltd. All rights reserved.
"Purity is not innocence, it is much more. Purity is the outcome of sustained spiritual sympathy with God. We have to grow in purity. The life with God may be right and the inner purity remain unsullied, and yet every now and again the bloom on the outside may be sullied. God does not shield us from this possibility, because in this way we realize the necessity of maintaining the vision by personal purity. If the spiritual bloom of our life with God is getting impaired in the tiniest degree, we must leave off everything and get it put right. Remember that vision depends on character -- the pure in heart see God."
A sexual predator is not only one who acts out sexual deeds. A sexual predator is also the one who allows sexual stimulation to occupy thoughts and speech. Men and women both can and do perpetrate these unwanted sinful actions toward others. Perpetrate means to commit or be responsible for something criminal or morally wrong. Perpetrate means in our sense here, that sexual thoughts and actions aimed at another person is morally wrong.
To the perpetrator and some observers, this sort of thing may be so common in their world that it seems innocent to enjoy sexual talk, "joking," and fantasizing with or about anyone they please.
Recently, an incident in a group of people who might be thought of as safe contained a sexualized experience. Somewhat stunned, it brought to mind, unwanted sexually focused boundary violations I have worked with as a therapist over the years. Reluctantly, I give voice and exposure here to this evil of our age.
When people use each other in any way, it is a violation. It is a violation of God's creation and His beloved. Manipulation of others or shocking communication with others rings of controlling people for fun or power. This is a violation and it is sin. It doesn't matter if the manipulator is conscious of the manipulation or not. Add to this an attitude of: "I absolutely am not wrong" or "I couldn't possibly be that sinful," belief on the part of the perpetrator, confronting such degradation can be a real "crazy maker." Manipulation via sexual references occupying seemingly harmless communications is great personal intrusion whether the perpetrator thinks so or not.
The message here is this: One cannot be wholly serving God and be entertaining predatory thoughts of any kind toward anyone else. One cannot indulge in a "little fun" regarding sexual joking and outright sexual behaviors toward another person if he or she is a serious follower of Christ.
Is any hint of this a problem for you? Allow God in to this area of your life. He is aware of all things about you and will not abandon you as you come to Him with this.
If you have been the target of sexualized manipulation, or the perpetrator of the same, move on it. Move it to the light of God's healing, forgiveness and grace. Sexual sin is a cancer. The beginning of serious and harmful sexual acting out is casual sexual thought and then speech. Using other people or yourself this way is not pleasing to God.
The denial of the damage and sinfulness of casual sexual speech or encounter stunts people. Being developmentally immature as a result of this sin is the least of the problems resulting from this sort of sin. The damage done keeps the perpetrator and the acted upon to some extent, from being in full fellowship with the One who loves us most.
The acting out and acted upon have resulting blocks in the flow of relationship with God. In addition, the affected are certainly impaired in safety and trust even if they do not know exactly why they do not trust the perpetrator who may have, in the perpetrators mind, "simply," thought of them as a sexual object.
Ask God for purity. Keep asking. He will provide the 'go power' for you. Purity is His will for you. He does the work, but He needs your cooperation which begins with honesty. As you continue to renew yourself in Him, character and vision will improve. The spiritual bloom of purity will thrill you. "The pure in heart see God."
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