I am a Christian in my early twenties who has been rasied in the faith since I was born. I have generally considered myself to be a good Christian; although, I will admit I have made many mistakes. I am getting bit personal, but since I was a teenager I suffered from an addiction to Internet pornography. I don't blame anyone but myself for that mistake, but I recently confessed my addiction to my pastor and a trusted family member. I have since stopped that behavior, praying everyday to God to keep me on the "Straight and Narrow;" although, I still feel the temptations from time to time.
However, I suffer from another internal problem. About a month ago I had a really bad thought concerning the devil. I initially tried to shake off the thought and move on, but I felt so horrible about thinking that thought that for close to a week I thought I'd lost my soul. To make things worse I started to have horrible and blasphemous thoughts about Jesus. I kept praying for forgiveness and to be mentally healed, but the guilt was driving me mad, and I began to fear I was suffering from "demonic oppression" which made things worse.
However after talking about it with family, friends, and my pastor I feel I am on the long road to spiritual recovery. Working even harder to become a better Christian and trying to keep my faith strong and in Him.
However my fear of the devil still lingers and I still have short bouts of dark thoughts. Recently I was offered a job and was very excited about it. However, I had been struggling with bad thoughts most of the day, and when I was told about the job I had the thought "Thank you Satan" I immediately froze up and got really scared. I tried to shake off the thought, but it has been scaring me ever since. I know I didn't really mean it, and I have asked for God's forgiveness, but the fear is still with me, and now I'm not even sure if I should take the job because I fear it has somehow become "tainted" and doing the job would be an affront to God. I just want to be a good Christian and do what's right by God.
I guess my overall question would be if you think I should take the job? In case your wondering it is doing graphic designs and I made it clear I would not do anything satanic. I am also curious to hear your thoughts about the "bad thoughts" as well as demonic oppression. I appreciate you taking the time to read this. I apologize for the long story I just wanted to give you an accurate history about myself (flaws and all). Thanks again.
It is not uncommon for young people, especially young men in the developing years, to become compulsive. You've battle one compulsion: pornography, but now another one is rearing its ugly head.
If I told you not to think of a pink penguin, then the first image in your mind is a pink penguin. The reason is that in order not to think of something, you first have to think about what you want to avoid. Satan uses that with God's law. "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet." But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead" (Romans 7:7-8). Paul said that by nature he wasn't the type of person to covet, but upon learning what coveting was, he found that he was now tempted by the very thing that he was warned against. Satan plants the ideas of sin by taking advantage of having to think about what you don't want to do.
You are doing a similar thing to yourself. You are so afraid of blasphemy that it has become the thing that you think about constantly. Because it is always on your mind, it is easy to slip into doing the very thing that you don't want to do.
As hard as it might seem at the moment, the trick is to break out of the cycle. When a blasphemous thought comes to mind, tell yourself outloud (if no one is around) that blasphemy is wrong. Hearing your own voice will make it more "real" to you. Then announce to yourself something that you know is true, such as, "I know that it is the Lord in heaven who aids me." Then go find something else to occupy yourself and your mind. Don't sit there berating yourself for having bad thoughts or trying to figure out how it could have happened. The more you think about the bad things, the more it locks itself in your mind. Purposely focus, instead, on good things. "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy -- meditate on these things" (Philippians 4:8).
You've been offered a good job, so accept it and purposely choose to be thankful to the Lord for His kindness. Make the proper response a habit and what you focus on, and soon it will be all that crosses your mind.
I wanted to thank you for your response. Although I still feel some anxieties I no longer have dread over my thoughts. They merely come and go or don't come around at all. I also wanted to thank you for your other letters that you have written to help others. Reading them has been a tremedous help to me in getting over my guilt, anxiety, and better understanding the Bible. Especially the ones concerning blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
While I was at my worst when dealing with the bad thoughts, I was really freaking out about blaspheming the Holy Spirit, and had thoughts of that nature as well such as "Jesus's miracles were of the devil, not of the Holy Spirit." I immediately shut it out but the thoughts kept coming. Almost like "vomit" of the mind. However, I knew then as I know now that I didn't mean it, and I am not looking for your reasurance. You have written to many people regarding that subject. I read those for the true understanding of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.