Is it possible to be completely free from sin and shame?
Have you ever read, or watched, any of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis? In the story, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Lewis introduces the reader (viewer) to a spoiled little boy named Eustace Scrubb. He is selfish and downright mean. In one scene, about halfway through the story, his reckless behavior causes him to turn into a dragon. C.S. Lewis’ point was clear: this boy became on the outside what he had always been on the inside.
Later, when Eustace tries to rejoin his friends, they are afraid — he is a dragon, after all. For several pages, Eustace is mocked, and they even consider leaving him alone on the island. Then, by some stroke of luck, one of the characters realizes that he isn't a real dragon and convinces everyone else to be friendly.
In one of the most powerful scenes in the book, Eustace determines to set himself free. He tries to scrape the dragon skin off his body. He rips through the thick skin, but the tear heals immediately. Despite his best efforts seems doomed to be a dragon, trapped in this body forever. That is, until Aslan, the hero lion, shows up.
Aslan rips through the layers of skin and sets Eustace free. The process was exceedingly painful. Eustace describes it like this:
The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I've ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off . . .
The process was terrifying and painful, but in the end, he was free. He describes his freedom like this:
[Aslan] caught hold of me — I didn't like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I'd no skin on — and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that, it became perfectly delicious, and as soon as I started swimming and splashing, I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I'd turned into a boy again.
Eustace escaped his bondage. That day, he started on the path to becoming a brand-new person. Eustace's dilemma is a lot like many reading this post. You have become someone you no longer recognize. Maybe you have hurt those you cared about. Your actions, and even your thoughts, are terrifying to yourself and others. Perhaps, you have been attacked and harassed. In the quiet moments, you understand why this happened, but at the moment, you fought back in anger.
If this is true, I bet you have already tried to set yourself free. Maybe you have attempted to limit internet time, set behavior checklists, contacted accountability partners, or installed software to remind you of your problem. Perhaps you have made promises and tried to quit cold-turkey. Despite your best efforts, the dragon skin keeps growing back.
For some, the frustration of failure is too much to bear. Some are even tempted to give up altogether; some no longer believe freedom is possible.
Please don’t give up. There is hope.
The Bible says:
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. (2 For 5:17)
Let Jesus cut through your dragon skin and remake you into the person you long to be.
**NOTE: This post is adapted from my book Bondage and Freedom: Escaping the Trap of Pornography. The Book is available at Amazon.com.