Cycles of Sin
Sin, when kept within, can create long term damage. The bible says, “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer,” (Psalm 32:3-4, New International Version).
Relationships that require true intimacy are definitely something that we struggle with when we are in a lifestyle that pulls us away from God. While holding tightly to this way of living that is dead, but we are steadily trying to breathe life into, we are forsaking our own lives and our relationship with Christ.
The definition of objectification refers to the offering or regard as an object; and the perceiving of something by the senses, particularly physical or visual stimulation. This definitely highlights how when something is focused upon, it becomes a person's sole or soul attention. It could be in our minds, as sinners, that what we are drawn to becomes the object that colors our vision and affection. This way of thinking, and seeing that we look obtain is apart from intimacy, emotions and feelings; there is also possibly a lack of empathy as well.
The object of affection becomes difficult to release because there is a feeling or fear of abandonment attached to it. A person may even feel that they may lose themselves and control of these particular relationships or situations, if given another option or choice to see this sin apart from themselves.
When we sin, sometimes we begin to view ourselves as an object, rather than a vessel of love, worship, and intimacy for Christ. It is difficult for us to see ourselves outside of our situation in order to get help. It is almost as if we see the reflection of who we are as being worthless, which also becomes our view of everything around us and even our relationships.
Lenore Walker’s (1979) “cycle of violence,” outlines three important phases of domestic violence: tension-building phase, explosion or acute phase, calm, loving, respite phase (sometimes called the “honeymoon phase”). Though this cycle is used specifically for domestic violence, I believe that these phases can also be used when it comes to sin.
Sin can take us through these same cycles. The tension cycle is one of, as Walker calls it, "walking on egg shells," and minor instances of abuse where things still seem to be manageable; just like our sins.
The next phase that is a part of Walker's "cycle of violence," is the acute phase, which is where violence or in this case sin, can reach a dangerously climatic stage. In this time you're probably trying to forcefully, in your own strength, avoid sin because it seems to be getting to a point where you know it could destroy you.
The last phase, is the calm, loving, respite or "honeymoon" phase. This is where the sinful or violent situation that you are trying to remove from your life woos you to come back. Promising to bring you pleasure but it is truly deceit.
Proverbs chapter seven of the bible speaks of how sin can be enticing. “She seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap, awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life,” (Proverbs 7:21-23, New Living Translation).
It does not matter where we are in your walk with Christ, free from bondage, walking to it, or unconvinced, we must be vigilant at all times. The enemy is truly lurking and looking for anyone he can devour, and we definitely do not have the strength to battle him alone. We do not know where he is going show up or what he is going to disguise himself as, we just need to be ready. We are not fighting flesh against flesh, this is a war against spirits. The enemy is not something spooky and mythical, he is real and will use real things, situations, experiences, and people to keep you from God.
You have to ask God for His gift of grace to cover you in times of temptation. You need back up and people to surround you in love and hold you accountable in your walk with Christ.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm." (Ephesians 6:10-13 English Standard Version).