I’ve lived long enough now to see more than enough examples of the awfulness of sin. Of all the enticing temptations available, none is more damaging than sexual sin — yet none is more prevalent. Giving into the lure of lust is like trading a drop of pleasure for an ocean of pain. As a deterrent, I have collected a list of consequences that you can use to help avoid the agony of immorality and its ugly aftermath. While the all-surpassing worth of Jesus Christ is certainly deterrent enough, this list, which is by no means exhaustive, will help. Review this list often, and add to it. It’s not worth:

  1. The squandered opportunity for God to be glorified in my integrity.
  2. The revulsion people will have towards me at the mere sight of me.
  3. The confusion that comes upon other believers who have heard me say one thing when they realize I’m something else.
  4. The relief of unbelievers who will relax in their sin and justify it because of me.
  5. The doubt my family will experience as they wonder whether they can ever trust me again.
  6. The distraction to my repentance because the stigma what I’ve done will force me to scramble just to survive.
  7. The reproach that is cast on the Gospel I’ve shared, which will appear to have no transforming power to change lives.
  8. The callouses that accumulate on my conscience, which will dull my spiritual sensitivity.
  9. The mental anguish of grappling with the total uncertainty of what’s next in my life.
  10. The ongoing battle I’ll have in my thoughts with images and memories I will forever regret.
  11. The potential of physical repercussions such as STDs, AIDS, or pregnancy.
  12. The certain spiritual stumbling of those others with whom I may be involved.
  13. The compounding of other sins I’ve committed in pursuing this one, such as deceit and covetousness.
  14. The perversion of God’s beautiful and perfect design for sexuality.
  15. The introduction of something foreign into my mind and marriage.
  16. The distortion of marriage as a picture of Christ and the Church.
  17. Though I may be forgiven, the painful lifelong reminder of a momentary, empty, fleeting pleasure.
  18. The fear that I could remain enslaved to my selfish desires and lust, to its power and stigma.
  19. The devastation I cause to the body of Christ by my disobedience and removal from ministry.
  20. The shame I’ll heap upon my parents who raised me to know and do better.
  21. The hurt in my spouse’s/future spouse’s eyes when I have to tell them.
  22. The anger I provoke in my children’s hearts, who’ll have no capacity to bear this news.
  23. The self-condemnation of overwhelming guilt that Satan uses to accuse me.
  24. The opportunities I’ll give Satan to blaspheme God because of me.
  25. The hopelessness of trying to face my future alone.
  26. The agonizing grief I will have caused my Lord and Savior, who loved me and died to set me free.