Resisting temptation for the wrong reasons. Does it matter?

Let’s say someone has a craving for chocolate. They are beset by temptations in shops and cafes. They do well to resist these temptations. However, the reason they are resisting temptation is because they want to be skinny like the models in the fashion magazines. The person cuts down on unhealthy food — good — but this very success allows their deeper motivations to remain unexamined.

I am like this with lingerie.

I threw out all my dressing up things at the end of August last year (see Total Purge) and since then have not dressed up or bought any new lingerie. I have felt the temptation, more than once (e.g., Passed a test), but I have successfully resisted — but, perhaps, at least partly, for the wrong reason.

My “wrong reason” is that I don’t like the new crowd, and I don’t want to be associated with them.

I first ventured online as a crossdresser in the mid-2000s. There were various sub-cultures of crossdressers, transvestites, sissies, transgender fetishists, transexuals, etc., and I soon found my place among them.

The “new crowd” is a new subculture that has emerged in the last five years or so. I’ll call them trans activists or TAs. They seem explicitly (though superficially, imho) political, and I think they are belligerent and ugly. I disapprove of them politically, psychologically, philosophically, morally, aesthetically. I find them repulsive.

I think my judgement of these people is correct, especially when judged as a social movement. I have been working on curbing my resentment.

At least part, and perhaps all, of the reason I haven’t gone shopping is that I don’t want other customers, or shop assistants to think I am a TA.

So, I haven’t bought any more knickers, and I can’t see myself shopping while I feel like this — good. The TAs are doing me a favour by being so repulsive. I am using them to get what I want (freedom from this fetish/habit).

On the other hand, … I know I would still like to dress up occasionally. I know if I hadn’t thrown them all out I would have slipped into panties and bra a few times this year. Just recently en route to/from Dad’s I felt a pang of nostalgia walking past Accessorize, gazing longingly at their display of special Christmas knickers.

Perhaps having the reason “I don’t want people to think I’m a TA” is allowing my deeper motivations to remain unexamined. Perhaps that doesn’t matter, and the deeper motivations will fade away. Perhaps those motivations are not so deep after all.

Does it matter that I am resisting temptation for the wrong reasons?

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4 Comments

  1. Oh yes, David! Motives matter tremendously in our fight against temptations or in any battle we face in life. My first thought in this regard goes to James 4:3 “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” God does not answer selfish prayers, knowing that to do so would weaken and not deepen our faith.

    My mind also goes to James 4:7 where we are told to “submit to God” as we resist Satan or any temptation. If there is some aspect of your desire in this stronghold that you are not fully surrendering and submitting to God, then you will eventually fail at resisting the temptation. You may not even know what that aspect is–though you might feel that there is some reserve or hidden thing emerging from the rubble. That is why you might want to pray Psalm 139:23-24–asking God to reveal what is lurking in the shadows. But never rely solely on this verse and pursuit without anchoring it daily in the study of God’s word, as you have already been doing. That is how God reveals to you your sin–through the revelations you’ll see in God’s word each day. Sometimes a sin takes years to unearth. I’d say that yours might be one that is like that.

    I also feel as if you are swimming upstream, since you are rather isolated in your faith. I know I’ve brought this up before, but you really need the help of other Christ-followers in your life. You need their support, love and accountability to gain a foothold over this deeply entrenched vice in your life, David. I hope you do not feel that I am pressuring you. That’s the last thing I want you to feel about my encouragements here. I simply see that you are vulnerable in your rather isolated state. Regardless, I pray for you daily and have been amazed at how God seems to be sustaining you even as you walk through this life as a lone-ranger Christian. Keep on pursuing Him and please know that I would be happy to discuss this further via email. I think talking about it with a trusted Christian friend can help to bring out what is hidden and tangled in the depths of your heart.

    Reply
    • Dear Beth, thank you for you comments. I remember James 4:7, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”. It’s a nice letter. I’ll read it again now in light of this discussion. Psalm 139 I have marked to learn “one of these days”. It is chilling to read it now (esp with the other “difficult” post in my mind! Ha!). There’s a lot in your comment! I’ll return & reply more soon.

      Reply
    • Dear Beth, I can see the sense in the “eventually fail” argument — but, in this case resisting temptation for the wrong reasons has been very effective: this is the longest I’ve gone without shopping or dressing up since I started it up again in the early 2000s. My motivations for dressing up are fairly clear, standard fetishism. I’ve raked over them extensively on other blogs – granted that was before I became a Christian. I am under no illusion that my motivations are rational or necessary.

      Reply
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