Today I read Proverbs 30 and I was struck by the reference to all the ways we can sin and do that which is wrong. Humans all excel in one aspect, our ability to rationalize, or lie to ourselves. This chapter mentions that the adulteress eats and wipes her mouth and says she has not sinned. This is a common malady among people. All too often we sin and then seek to justify our behavior by saying that the commandment in question does not apply to us. We are the exception. We can still be righteous even with this stain on our character, which is actually true, but it is harder to repent each time we commit the sin. But the Atonement is all encompassing and we can in fact be forgiven, and more importantly, change. It is hard to change.
We first have to want to change, even when we don't want it. This might sound strange unless you have experienced it for yourself. Addicts have a love and hate relationship with their addiction. If you are addicted to alcohol for example, you like to drink it. You like the way you feel when you get drunk. But you don't like that fact that you like it. Those addicted to pornography probably love sex and like, or maybe even love, to look at other people naked or having sex. And yet, even though they enjoy this, they can want and even desire to change. The natural man wants to continue on with the pleasurable behavior. But the Spirit inside each of us that remembers our Heavenly home, prompts us to change. If we desire it strongly enough, and include Heavenly Father, we can then overcome that natural man and the feelings of desire and joy we feel at such inappropriate behaviors. So it is very possible to like something but not like the fact that you like it. The Atonement can even help with this. We have to involve Heavenly Father in our struggle and He can make all the difference. He will help us when our desire is true. Until tomorrow.