Mark Alan Williams
The Toilet Bowl Is Swirling - Keep The Lid Closed!
How to Avoid Sliding Down a Toilet of Immorality
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Carolyn and I were on a walk recently and started talking about the Ashley Madison scandal. Our conversation centered around the fact that so many have been caught “red handed” in that website designed to match men and women for an extramarital affair. Pastors, deacons, elders, teachers, civic leaders, even Josh Duggar were found to be among the subscribers when the list was hacked.
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At one point I confessed to Carolyn that it could have been me on the list IF I had made certain decisions, succumbed to certain temptations and gone in the wrong direction.
I said “It’s like you get started in the swirling toilet of sin and before you know it you’re in the spiral, flushed down the toilet of porn addiction, illicit sex, extramarital affairs and into the sewer.”
How do I know it could be me? Because it could be ANY human being. Carolyn agreed that it could not only be her husband, but any person that succumbs any one of a number of temptations: substance abuse, alcohol abuse, pornography, theft, gambling addiction, pride, greed, etc.
Then we both chuckled when Carolyn pointed out that the way to keep from swirling down the toilet, is to keep the lid closed!
Wouldn’t you know it would be a woman who thought of it in that way?
Then she wisely pointed out that if you don’t ever get started with the more innocuous flirtations with evil, you won’t someday find yourself slipping down the slopes of the toilet bowl of immorality and into the sewer.
I couldn’t agree more.
In the light of Carolyn’s wise observation about the slippery slide into the sewer of immorality, here are some ideas on how to “keep the lid closed”:
01. Never ever, ever think you are invulnerable.
The Apostle Paul, my hero of the faith, called himself the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15)
The Bible warns that, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9 NLT)
We have no one to blame but ourselves for the evil within us. Jesus said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:21-22 ESV)
I wrote more about my own sinful nature in a “fun” article titled, Why I Burned my Sister at the Stake.
02. Never, ever, ever toy with temptation.
The Bible says to flee temptation. For example, in 1 Timothy 6:11, “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.”(ESV)
It is very dangerous to toy with temptation. | CLICK TO TWEET
Surely some or many of the people on the Ashley Madison list never succumbed to an affair. But every one of them were on that trajectory, flirting with temptation. So why risk going into the sewer? Keep the lid closed.
03. Always, always, always man up if you stumble.
By “man up” I mean confess your sins—including your flirtations with evil.
The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 KJV)
God’s promise to forgive is always available. But it is only usable if we “confess” our sins. To confess means “to say the same.” To agree with God means not only “I’m sorry” but also “With God’s help, I will change.”
To really man up, you have to head in the other direction: quit the websites, find a prayer partner, admit your vulnerability, see a biblical counselor, find a web accountability software program, etc.
04. Always, always, always put God first.
Perhaps you are struggling terribly with pornography or some other compelling sin. How can you overcome? There are many helpful techniques and strategies.
But one vitally important element is to rely on the power of God in your life by putting Him first. When you do, the power of His Holy Spirit can enable you to overcome what you don’t have the power to overcome on your own.
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6 ESV)
Recently my friend Bud shared his story of struggling to overcome his foul mouth. He tried tying a string on his finger as a reminder, but that didn’t work. So he put the string on his wrist, but that didn’t work either. He tried everything he could think of, but to no avail. He was desperate.
Finally, he said, “Lord, I am powerless on my own to overcome this awful habit. Please give me Your power, since I cannot do it on my own.”
That prayer was followed by a period of stuttering for a few days, and he wasn’t able to talk correctly. When that ended, so did the bad language.
It was a supernatural work of God.
I’m not promising a miracle like Bud had. But every Christian has the potential of being assisted to overcome through the power of the Holy Spirit. Don’t let that power go to waste.
The toilet is swirling—I pray you follow these principles to keep the lid closed so you don’t slip into the sewer of sin!