This is a perfect picture of the alcoholic, so thirsty for a drink that satisfies, yet never does. Barbossa’s plight always reminded me of my previous porn addiction: wanting something that satisfied, but always being left empty. Tasting the wine in my mouth, but it emptying out onto my feet. The only way to keep the wine inside of me was to keep drinking more and more and more of it. Our culture feeds us this lie about sex all the time, with people having sex before marriage with regularly, yet continuing to come up empty, in loneliness and despair, masking it all by chasing the next hit with even more abandon than the last. In the Pirates clip, the crew-mates reaction to Barbossa’s wine is telling. They are all staring silently at what is one of the most tragic sights imaginable, then when he looks at them they all laugh as loud as they can! If they can make his tragedy cool and popular and desirable and normal, it will mask how sunk they really are.
One of the most healthy spiritual disciplines for me is to regularly sit before a holy God during my prayer time. I use Exodus 9:9-25 and visualize myself sitting on the holy mountain as one of those original Israelites. I try to feel the emotion that comes with trying to comprehend the vast chasm between God’s holiness and my sinfulness. Then I turn my prayer and meditation time toward Colossians 1:22, Romans 8:15-17, and Matthew 3:16-17. The chasm of separation between me and God gets filled as the floodgates of Jesus’ love, grace, and mercy open. I can only unlock the riches of this gift if I first walk the path of understanding how much I don’t deserve it. When I begin to comprehend that I don’t deserve it, I can begin to experience how beautiful and amazing it is that I get to have it.
Verse 1 implies that God has not been answering the psalmist’s prayer. I love the honesty we can go to God with. The psalmist is basically saying, “Hey God! Answer me! I know you can! But you haven’t been! I am suffering! I am struggling! Have mercy on me! Hear my prayer!” With full use of exclamation points in the emotion behind this prayer.
“Is masturbation a sin?”
I intentionally did not address this question when I wrote my book for men on sexual purity. My reason was not from fear of talking about controversial or sensitive subjects, it was because I didn’t want those who disagree to tune me and the rest of my message out. I thought it would be an unnecessary distraction. Because whenever you talk about masturbation, no matter your stance, people will disagree.
The Flip Side Episode 4 / 66 addresses the topic of shame as it relates to the question of, “What does God think of me when He looks at me?”
…it’s so deeply ingrained in me that I need to perform for him to really be pleased with me. So I strive and strive and strive. And it’s never enough. And it never will be enough. And the emptiness of that just kills me.