Wednesday, 11 January 2012

It All Stems from Lack of Integrity

by Dov (See all authors)

Do you think your lust problem is just a side-issue for you? Do you feel that Hashem is really paying attention and showing His love for you in all the other, more normal ways - but the lust issue is just a bump in the road, or some wart you happen to have?

I cannot speak for you, especially because I do not have any inkling of you or your life and baggage. But in my own case and that of many others, being sober come way, way before any mitzva and any "avodas Hashem". No one has any qualms about doing that for running away from an ax-murderer. We all understand that. But somehow, addictions get shoved onto the back burner in the face of the more respectable and perhaps even glamorous things like: 'Keviyus itim letalmud', 'tshuvas hamishkal', 'yir'as Shomayim', and 'simchas hachayim'.


The poison that is in a person like me that makes my never-ending struggle to wake up and have a daily, consistent and growing real relationship with Hashem a losing proposition is not the lack of yir'as Shomayim that I have, not my lacking middos, and not my absent teshuvas hamishkal or teshuvah sheleimah, at all. It is my lack of integrity, plain and simple. Moshe Rabeinu was not chosen because of his Yir'as Shomayim, his kindness, or his chochma - he was chosen because of his integrity. Honesty and living by his principles and leaving that comfy, safe, palace to identify with his brothers. He didn't have to do any of that - but he had integrity and principles. Simple, basic fairness and integrity.

You may not be an addict, but may just have a challenge with masturbation as many people have. You may not be sick. But in my own case, I could not get anywhere near success in avodas Hashem until I started to get sober. Until then I had no integrity at all, and I knew it. And it was disgusting to me. And why not?