The past couple of days I have battled with lust, and lost. Not in a huge way, but still, I lost. Whenever this happens I am so ridden with guilt, and that guilt hinders me. It will keep me from praying, keep me from reaching out, and/or keep me from praying for my future relationship and eventual marriage. I had a revelation today. Just because I lose a battle it doesn’t mean I stop fighting. Guilt/shame are partners in crime with lust. It’s like lust is the mob boss and guilt and shame are the flunkies that are around to make sure the job is finished. Their job is to keep me down if I’ve been knocked down. They’re around to keep me distracted from this battle and the others that go on around me that need my attention. And that’s how Satan traps us. Or rather, how he keeps us trapped. It’s like when you’re playing football, and in the middle of the season you’re playing, you drop a crucial pass and your team has lost the game, and a few days or weeks later, you’re still so upset about it that you’re moping when you’re at practice, and you’re so afraid of screwing up again that you fail to take the time to practice. You stop believing in yourself. You fail to look at it and learn from the mistake. You fail to truly move on because you’re stuck in the past; stuck in that one mistake. Now, don’t get me wrong here. I’m saying all this not to say, “oh, it’s okay. You know what, you’re forgiven, okay. Calm down it’s all right.” I’m saying it’s important to forgive yourself; to give yourself grace, and just because temptation is not around for the moment, it does not mean that the fight is over. You lost one battle. Get up. Dust yourself off, and get ready for the next round. Tell guilt and shame to get out the door. Did you hear me? I said, “TELL SHAME AND GUILT TO GET THE HECK OUTTA HERE!!!” Don’t let them hold you down any more! Don’t let them win. Don’t let them keep you from the fight! If you stay in that hole, tell me something, will you ever truly achieve what you’re fighting for?