Christian Brother, you and I must live in this culture. Jesus called it “the world” and He repeatedly warned us not to compromise. We must be different. Read His prayer for us – it is the 17th chapter of the gospel of John.
But there are always temptations out there! For that reason, toward the end of the course, I write my students something like this:
Your powerful testimony is already on our web site.
And God is going to give you opportunities to share parts of it with men who desperately need to hear.
Not to grow complacent. I need to be on the lookout still, even in the days that feel like I’ve reached freedom.
Do you remember saying something like that a while back? If you did, you were right! This is a lifetime battle, and not just a 60-day thing. We cannot set aside our defenses just because we don’t think we need them anymore. Let me give you an example: A man that I know quite well, got freedom thought this course and through the blood of Jesus. But he didn’t actually change his lifestyle. He was still doing some of the things that many people in our culture think are relatively harmless:
- Letting his eyes wander up and down women on the street and in stores (I’m not talking about just seeing women…. talking about the same kind of lustful looks that most men have. It’s something to do, and it makes us “feel good”).
- Had 160 channels on Cable. (the package was a really good price) He did not need them. The weren’t edifying and they don’t honor God in any way. But it’s entertainment…at least that’s what the world calls it. Never mind that much of that stuff is bad for Christians.
- Had his computer in a private room, so he wouldn’t be bothered by the family. And he let the filter go because it cost too much.
That’s not very bad, is it? WRONG!
Because he continued to unnecessarily expose himself to temptations and his returning to lusting (images on the street and on most TV shows and many commercials), he went back into that downward spiral that most of us Christian men began early in our life, urged on by our culture, and persisted in – until he fell back into pornography and masturbation after only a few months of freedom.
Fortunately, or rather thanks to God, he came back to the course after a couple of years. And he became a mentor. This time he “got it”. We cannot live like the rest of the world and stay free. Christ calls us to a higher standard. If we compromise, we fall.
That’s not “a preacher’s illustration” either. We are talking about one of my own kids. Has a godly wife and two great daughters. And they are truly dedicated to the Lord! But for years, he was living like the world and didn’t even know that it was wrong. I had not taught him better, because when he was growing up, he had a bad example (ME). He needed a Godly example.
Some men need more defenses than others. God does give us grace to stand when confronted by necessary temptations. So don’t take any of that as me trying to lay any laws on you. If you have a TV, that may be o.k. Maybe not. Another man might want his TV permanently in the closet. See what I mean? Keep in mind, though – it is much better to flee temptation than try to stand when we do not have to.
I’m sharing that with you so you’ll know that it could be part of this bigger picture… We are to be imitators of Christ! And in doing so, we are not to conform to the world.