I am an eighteen-year-old guy who has a general problem with a lack of self-control, and particularly a problem with the sins of lust, masturbation and occasionally pornography (I say “occasionally” because more often than the others my internal revulsion at the idea of porn is enough to stop me from giving in to temptation, but I know it should be “never”). I can go for weeks or months without being seriously tempted, but usually when I am seriously tempted (and sometimes when I’m not very tempted physically, but just desire the pleasure), I give in.
I am most vulnerable to temptation if I am home alone, so I try to spend as little time home alone as possible. However, if I’m really tempted, sometimes even my mum, dad or brother being in the house is not enough to stop me. If my mind is on lustful things and I have a strong desire for the pleasure and/or physically feel in need of release, it’s hard to concentrate properly on doing schoolwork or useful things, and I usually feel slightly violated after doing it, which has sometimes lost me sleep when I’ve done it in bed at night. Therefore if I’m in that situation sometimes I’d rather just get it over with there and then and then concentrate on work and get a good night’s sleep.
At the moment I’m in a phase of a low sexual drive and little temptation to sin sexually, yet I still try to stay on at school or go to a public library to work, even at the weekend, rather than stay at home with the risk, however small, of sinning sexually. However, I’m also working on some history coursework which is quite long overdue, and since I’ve used quite a few heavy books which I can’t all carry to one place unless I carry my big suitcase with me (maybe I should, come to think of it), it’s considerably better if I just stay at my dad’s house, where I’m staying this weekend, and get it done there.
Since I usually take much too long to start work at home, on Saturday I’ll probably take a few books to the public library in the morning and start work there anyway, but then I’d rather come home for lunch with my family and then work at home in the afternoon. I could go back to the library and take books I need for a particular section but I’m working on cutting down the whole thing. I have lots of notes but often I need to look up a particular quote or statistic in the book itself for context. I’ll soon be working on an evaluation of the relative utility of the sources for which it’s better for me to have all the books to hand, though I could do it just from memory.
If I’m still in a position where I’m very unlikely to sin sexually by working at home with my dad and brother in the house (though it’s slightly more likely at my dad’s house than my mum’s house, since his house is bigger), do you think it’s right for me to work at home even though I’m putting myself in a position where there is a small chance of me gravely sinning? I acknowledge Matthew 5:27-30, and that my soul is more important than my studies, but you can’t avoid drawing the line somewhere. If I wanted to completely minimise the chance of sinning sexually, I’d sleep on the streets, but I have no obligation to do that.
Being indecisive generally, these decisions of whether to work at home or stay in the library stress me out and lead me to procrastinate and waste time that should be spent working. And if I work at home while not being sure whether I should be doing it or not, it makes it hard to concentrate on the work. I think though that it’s mainly that I’m afraid that I’m sinning by working at home and putting myself in that position, rather than being afraid of sinning sexually.
I’d greatly appreciate any advice.