“That’s Not My Name”

Who remembers back when Just Dance was really popular? Ya know, the Wii game where you would do those odd hand-motions? Well I do, and I remember one particular song that has stuck in my head ever since I first played that silly video game. It’s by the Ting Tings. What kind of band name is that? Anyways, the chorus from :40 to 1:08 is great… Check it out below…

You know, I don’t think you ever find out what her name is…

So what does this video have to do with my blog? Well like always, I’ll try to connect the two in a meaningful way, so tighten your seat belts, because we are going on a crazy ride…

Before I go any further, I would like to talk about a certain idea that’s been stewing in my mind. I first came across it in a book entitled Crash the Chatterbox. Steven Furtick, the author, postulates in his book that there is a voice inside all of us called the Chatterbox, which seeks to beat us down with accusations and to remove from our mind the promises of God. The tricky thing about the Chatterbox is that the voice comes from inside us, and not necessarily from satan. I thought all of it was an interesting idea, but I had never had the chance to pin down the voice of the Chatterbox in my own life, until just recently, as you will see. Continuing right along now…

This blog post is about my struggle with pornography. There, I said it, it’s out in the open. Let’s all take a collective breath and forge on. Yes, I too struggle with pornography, just as many other people do in this world filled with that toxic crap. I won’t bore you with the details of my story, but needless to say, I am a sinner in need of salvation as much as the next guy, and pornography is a sin I dealt with in high school and college.

Looking back on my battle with porn, I can say that I have learned a great deal about who I am, about who God is, and about the nature of sin, temptation, and the devil. There have been ups and downs, and many milestones to mark my way. For example, one of the biggest milestones occurred when I finally realized that winning out against pornography would only happen when I changed my belief, rather than simply my behavior. But I want to focus on another particular milestone that occurred somewhat recently.

Over Spring Break, I went to South Dakota with some friends, and we all stayed in separate rooms. Needless to say, one night I began to look at pictures and videos that were in no way pleasing to God. In the morning, I woke up and was so torn up and destroyed about what I had done, especially since I had gone almost a whole year without viewing porn. I went to a local coffee shop in Sturgis, SD, (the only coffee shop in Sturgis, by the way) and thought about what had happened the previous night.

As I was regretting my decision, a little voice rose inside me, and began to grow with each accusation saying, “You’re a failure…. You’re a sinner! You’re disgusting!!! And you’ve let everyone down!!!!” and the accusations went on and on, until a thought flitted across my mind. You know what it was? It happened to be the chorus to a particular song by the Ting Tings. “That’s not my name…” And instantly, everything clicked. In that moment, I connected truth with meaning and understood not only the dangers of the Chatterbox, but also the power of finding identity in Christ.

What exactly happened? You see, the Chatterbox began to throw out accusations left and right, but another voice rose inside me, challenging each accusation. The Advocate heard all of the accusations the Chatterbox could toss out and then responded, “No, no, no. That’s not his name. You may call him those names, Chatterbox, and you may think those are his names but I have called him a different name! I have called him ‘Holy’! And I have called him ‘Loved’ and ‘Worthy’! And above all else, I have called him ‘My Own!!!’”

As I listened to this inner dialogue, I began to tear up, right there in Sturgis Coffee Company. I understood the power of identity in Christ. Sin has absolutely no hold on a child of God! It’s simply not who we are! So why are there still Christians struggling with sin? I think part of the answer is that we don’t have enough faith to believe what God says about us is true. I definitely still struggle to have a faith of that magnitude and will probably continue to struggle until I see Jesus face to face. While the world and the Chatterbox may say, “Sinner!!!”, God says, “No! He’s mine! I have bought him and redeemed him and he is mine!”

Oh how I wish that I could impart with you, dear reader, the meaning behind that truth! You may already understand it yourself, or it may take an experience like the one I had to bring you to that understanding. Either way, He is faithful. I can genuinely say that understanding what my name is according to Christ has been the most powerful lesson I have learned in my 20 years on Earth. And the coolest thing about this particular lesson? Christ has taken a sin in my life and is now holding it up for all to see as a testament of his love for us. At the cross, God did the same thing. He took the worst thing that could ever happen, the death of his Son, and has turned it into the most beautiful picture of his love and glory. God is good, amen?

If you are a Christian, guy or girl, struggling with the sin of lust, or really any sin in general, I want to tell you right now, “THAT’S NOT WHO YOU ARE ACCORDING TO CHRIST!” You may have struggled with it for so long, it seems to be a part of you, but I’m telling you, it is not! That’s not your name! Don’t let the Chatterbox convince you otherwise. God calls you something different!

Now, whenever I feel tempted to give into lust or to view pornography, I mentally start to sing the chorus of the Ting Ting’s song. I know it sounds absolutely ridiculous, because it kind of is! But the truth contained in that one sentence is powerful enough to remind me of who I really am in Christ and powerful enough to send the devil running. So the next time you find yourself struggling with the accusations of the Chatterbox or the temptations of the devil, I hope you’ll join me in both remembering the promises of God and singing over yourself the chorus of the Ting Tings song. “That’s not my name!”

I’ll leave you with this verse…

 Don’t you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who don’t care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom. A number of you know from experience what I’m talking about, for not so long ago you were on that list. Since then, you’ve been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus, our Master, our Messiah, and by our God present in us, the Spirit..” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (MSG)

“Not so long ago, you were on that list…” But according to Christ, we are no longer. It’s not about who we are; it’s about who Christ is and what he did for us.

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