Thursday, April 2, 2015

My 50 Shades of Infidelity

Photo "Bottle of Wine with Two Glasses" Courtesy of Marin/freedigitalphotos.net

Finally, brothers and sisters, 
whatever is true, whatever is noble, 
whatever is right, whatever is pure, 
whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—
think about such things.  
Philippians 4:8 NIV

YES!  

It's time to pick up my daughter from school.  I grab my iPad Mini off the counter top and skip out the door.  I can hardly wait to get to the front door of the school so I can stand in my regular "waiting for the bell to ring" spot and open up my digital copy of "the book."   You know, the one EVERYONE was talking about?

Holy cow, look at the time!  1:30 AM...when was the last time I saw 1:30 AM?  And to think it's because I'm reading a book...

Oh.my.goodness...I'm exhausted.  I stayed up WAY too late reading.  Now I can hardly keep my eyes open...well...except to jump back into the story starring Ana and Christian.  

Technically, I think it's called a "50 Shades" hang-over

Yes, I read the first one...then I read the second one...then I had to WAIT for the third one because someone else had it checked out.  But, rest assured, I eventually got it, and read it in record time.

Then, can you believe it?  I went back and read the first one again

That's when I realized it...Tammie...you have a problem.   

One can argue that this isn't a problem.  One can say that getting hooked on a series of books isn't all that bad.  One can declare, "It's my guilty pleasure, and I have a lot a 'reality' that I deal with every day, so I DESERVE this!"
One CAN, because one did!  Me!

However, I realized after finishing the first book for my second time that I really wasn't gaining anything from these books.  I was thoroughly enjoying the escape from reality, but I was over-tired, I had lost my zeal for WRITING because I was only READING, and I was only craving the chance to get my next fix of Ana and Christian.
But worst of all, I was losing my relationship with Christ .

I can't very well make the excuse that "I'm too busy to do a Bible study" when I'm staying up until two in the morning reading a book!  

No, being hooked on those books WAS hurting me, because it was taking my mind off the things upon which God has commanded me to meditate.  

Noble, true, right, pure, praiseworthy...? 

But, God...you know about the stress that I deal with.  I'm trying to juggle appointments for my daughter with special needs, and I'm trying to get my sub-teaching license, and I'm trying to keep my house in order...Don't ask me to give this up!  It's my little guilty pleasure.  Why should I have to give it up?

God replied:

"Tammie, what did I give up for you?  
What did JESUS give up for you?  
I have written you the most incredible Love Letter you could ever hope to receive.  My son walked the earth, was stripped naked, beaten, 
spat upon, mocked, and murdered...
and you scoff at me because I'm asking you to 
spend time meditating on MY book?"

Do I judge those who have read and enjoyed these books?  No.  Do I judge those who have gone to see the movie?  No.  If I cast a stone at them, surely I should stone myself.  But God has told ME, in no uncertain terms, that I had provided Satan with a foothold and he was ready to climb into my brain and make himself at home there.   

I had fallen for someone other than God.  

The next book I checked out was by Karen Kingsbury, and then by Colleen Coble. Both are Christian writers.  All of their books have the same elements as those I had been reading before; suspense, drama, and romance-except these books had God at the center.  The characters deal with temptations; they all struggle with being in the world but not of the world.  But there is scripture, and there is God's truth spoken throughout, and when people fall short, you can see how God works for the good of those who love him.  These books did not draw me away from God's word, but showed me God's word and made me CRAVE HIS kind of love. 

Pray:  Heavenly Father, I'm sorry for the times I have let ANYTHING come before you.  I know that your love is the most overwhelming and magical love one could ever find.  Help me to guard my heart against Satan and temptations.  Remind me daily of what Christ has done for me, what YOU have done for me.  I want to remain faithful and true to you. Amen.

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