Every Sunday, I take a break from writing about doing work that matters. Instead, I write about my imperfect understanding of God’s perfect love as my personal mission to spread His word and His love and to make a difference. You can read more Mission posts here.
“So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48
What does it really mean to be perfect?
What does it really mean to be like God?
At our core, I’d like to believe that we all want to be like Jesus and to be like the Father.
This is my most vulnerable post yet. But, I’d like to glorify God and show His greatness through my weakness.
For a long time, I was addicted to pornography.
I would confess in a week and just commit the same sin again the following week. And confess again.
I’ve heard a lot of different pieces of advice from different priests on how to stop my addiction.
But, there’s one piece of advice that really helped me overcome my addiction.
When I confessed the same sin that fateful day, the priest asked me, “What would you like to achieve by stopping your addiction?”
I told him, “I’d like to achieve chastity. I’d like to remain pure.”
He asked me again, “How do you define chastity?”
I answered, “It’s abstaining from sex or impure thoughts.”
He told me, “You have to have a deeper understanding of chastity and of sex. Chastity is not just abstaining from sex. That’s a negative way to look at it. You have to look at chastity and sex in a positive way. Chastity is about understanding that sex was created for good–for procreation, for love. And all things that are good are from God.”
He added, “You have to forgive yourself. Your sin is indeed a sin. But, it’s because of your impure thoughts. It’s not sex that is a sin. It is from God. It is good. Having impure thoughts is the sin you have committed.”
You can just imagine how much weight had been lifted. You can just imagine the heaviness of the burdens that had been unloaded that fateful confession. And since then, I have never committed the same sin again and, hopefully, never again.
I learned to see sex and chastity in a positive light, in a more loving way. That’s why whenever I feel tempted, I would just think about how wonderful it would be to do it in the right time, with the right person, with the blessing of God, and because of love.
What does it mean to be like Jesus? To be like God?
I would like to think that it’s not just about following His commandments. It’s not just about not committing sin. It’s not about abstaining from sins. That’s a very negative way to look at it.
To be like Jesus and to be like the Father is to see things through the eyes of love, to think with love, to act with love, and to do everything with love. Following Jesus and the Father becomes easier that way. It becomes more pure. It becomes “good.” It feels more right. It feels more holy. It feels more loving. And all things that are good are from God.
Isn’t that very simple?
In one simple statement, to be like God is to love.
“All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.” – James 1:17