"We're gonna put our money into a computer rather than marriage counseling." This was a statement from a man with a rather troubled marriage. "I don't think counseling is going to help us any. We can spend time together in front of the computer and find good resources there." I looked at his wife and she, in a rather pie-eyed fashion, gave her tacit permission towards her husband's solution to their many marriage troubles. He proceeded with a rather lengthy story about how a new, more powerful computer, would be the solution not only to their family woes but also the difficulties in his marriage. "We will gather around the computer as a family and make our computer a place of bonding, we'll become stronger if we invest in that rather than counseling." I attempted to protest but he had won his wife over to his point of view. They cancelled their remaining sessions and I never saw them again.
Do you think the computer helped this marriage? A computer is amoral. It is neither evil nor good. It is what is done with the computer that brings in the morality.
I have been able to watch this man's behavior from a distance and unfortunately, his life has fallen apart. His wife divorced him. Several things transpired that she could not live with: 1) he used the computer for watching porn, 2) he used the computer to develop relationships with numerous women with whom he had affairs, 3) he was arrested for having sex with a patient, 4) he was also arrested for domestic violence and 5) he lost his medical license.
The computer also affected his children. One of his children became addicted to pornography (from the same computer), another was charged with sexual molestation and must now register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, the rest of his children have completely cut him off, wanting nothing to do with him.
I'm not saying that if they had continued in counseling that everything would have been perfect and these problems would not have occurred but I think it is ironic that the very thing he convinced his wife would solve all of their problems seriously contributed to his moral failure and the subsequent behavior of his family. I'm also not saying that the computer was his main problem. His main problem (in spite of claiming the name of Christian) was old-fashioned selfishness. He was not allowing God to transform him.
I'm writing this to you to ask you a few questions:
Into what are you pouring your time, energy and money?
Have you convinced yourself that possessions will bring your happiness?
Or have you invested your life into accountability, honest relationships and seeking God's will for your life?
God is very clear about His will: It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
I have heard that this man is now trying to repair the damage he has done and is trying again to live a life that is pleasing to God. I find that encouraging.
Please pray for him.
BE A MAN.
Several years ago, I got into a debate with a close friend and the conversation went quickly south. What began as a discussion about our theological and political differences ended up in a shouting match in which each person's character was called into question.
I went into the argument with a "win-at-all-costs" mentality. Winning a disagreement was the only way I knew how to disagree, but what I lost wasn't worth the victory. I said plenty of things I didn't mean. As the saying goes, "I won the battle, but lost the war." And lost a great friend in the process. We haven’t spoken since.
I may have won the debate, but it wasn’t worth the cost.
We’re never going to agree with everyone we come in contact with, but we must learn how to disagree in a way that honors Christ and His body.
Disagreement is an increasing norm in our lives, but we're marginally equipped. It's much easier to post disparaging remarks on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and news articles. Digital disagreement allows us to hide behind a screen.
Just take a sampling of the Christian blogosphere, where heated debates on who gets into heaven, the biblical role of women and gay marriage, just to name a few, are commonplace. Spend time scrolling through comments where any of these discussions take place and you'll immediately lose your faith in humanity.
All of this painfully illuminates the question: Why can't Christians disagree well? Why are we so comfortable tarnishing the name of Jesus—whom we all call “Lord”—just so we can win the argument?
Christians spend much of their time focused on how to engage the un-Christian world around them—and rightfully so. Yet in doing so, we sometimes lose our ability to navigate conversations and relationships with our own brothers and sisters.
John didn't hold anything back when he said: "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35). We usually apply this to our relationship with unbelievers, but loving “one another” in and amongst our own is an incredible witness as well—for better or for worse. So how can we turn this around? What do we need to do in order to disagree with our brothers and sisters in love.
First, we need to understand that the underlying theme that allows for disagreement to happen in a healthy way is emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence can be simply defined as seeking to understand before being understood. It's human nature to fight for your supposed “right” to an opinion and your supposed “right” to be heard. But the reigning mark of our faith is not holding on to our personal rights, but offering our Christ-reflective unconditional love. It's easier to hoard the opportunity to push someone else down than to sacrifice your right to be heard. But to uphold the name of love, this is often the harder, better way.
Emotional intelligence is sacrificing your rights in order to care for others. This is deeply rooted in the Christian faith: "In humility value others above yourselves" (Philippians 2:3). By focusing only on yourself—your opinion, your agenda, your perspective—you shrink the world. Your problems become the lens you see everything through. You isolate yourself from a world looking for attention, love and human kindness. You cannot care for others when the world revolves around you. And you cannot build the Church body if all you are concerned about is yourself.
Yet in focusing on understanding the other, in an intentional act of love, your world expands. By seeking to understand before being understood, "our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection—or compassionate action," says psychologist Daniel Goleman in Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships.
Just like in any family, conflict among Christians will never go away. But when we learn how to seek understanding before being understood, we can begin to have healthy disagreements.
We can learn to focus on areas of agreement over areas of disagreement. And perhaps then, we can restore our reputation of love.This post was written by Tyler Braun of Relevant Magazine. For the original post with comments, go to: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/church/why-dont-christians-play-nice
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
When living in Europe, I was on a business trip kilometers away from Karyn, my wife. Several of us went to a restaurant to have a meal. Over time, the group dwindled down to me, a female colleague and two other men. One of the men was dropping hints on the female saying that he wanted to see if her hotel room was bigger than his, to see her dog that she had back in her room, and other "seemingly" innocuous things.
I excused myself for a moment and as I stepped out of the bathroom to head back to the table, the woman was standing there at the door. She told me, "I don't know if you've noticed but "George" is hitting on me. I am really uncomfortable with him doing that. Could you make sure that I am not alone with him?"
She and I had become fairly good friends, we both had similar supervisory positions in the same company and I was kind of mentoring her since she was new to the position. I said to her, "what would you like me to do?" She responded, "when we back to the hotel (we were all staying at the same hotel), could you walk me to my room? That will discourage George and he will get the message I don't want him in my room."
I had no reason to believe that she had designs for me, but being a male with a big ego, I was taken aback for a moment. I had to make a decision. Which is more important at this moment? To respect and honor my female friend's request and risk people thinking I went to her room or choose to not be alone with her and avoid even the appearance of evil?
Do I choose to walk her to her hotel room and risk rumor or do I not so as to avoid any gossip? Do I choose to honor her or protect my reputation? It should be noted that she apparently did not have designs for me, she was wanting me to help send a message to a man who was engaging in sexual innuendo.
So, why the tire? Let me use this tire to illustrate the decision-making model.* Imagine at the center is my desire to please God in all that I do. That is the axle of this model. Now, imagine this tire divided into three parts. Each part representing the three goals of Ironstrikes. All of these goals are admirable and God-honoring. However, I was now faced with my personal integrity or honoring a woman , a choice between two good, yet seemingly conflicting goals.
This tire, separated into three parts, the three goals, is constantly on the move. For the tire to sit still and lay flat on one goal results in an out of balance tire. It will become flat if it doesn't rotate. At times, one goal is hitting the ground, at other times, another goal is in play. So, in following this illustration, no goal has precedence over the other. In making this decision, I had to keep those three goals in mind with full consideration of the axle, pleasing God, as the central basis. Pleasing God is what these goals revolve around.
I told my female friend that I would be glad to walk her back to her hotel room. As we went back to the table to conclude the conversation, I was praying about my decision and asking God for His wisdom. "Lord, did I make the right decision? Is honoring my friend's request more important at this moment than protecting my reputation?" The answer came pretty clearly.
Now, lest you think I'm crazy, no, I didn't hear God's audible voice. I felt a calm, a real peace at this decision and then in my head, God spoke thru my thoughts, in my own voice I heard, "You do what is right and I will protect your reputation."
We dismissed ourselves and I walked her back to her room. It was about a 15-minute walk. We got to the hallway that led to her room and she thanked me and went to her room. I then went to my room and called Karyn letting her know what happened so if she heard any rumors, she would know the truth.
So what do you think? Did I make the right decision? You may be thinking, "Dale sure made a big deal out of nothing." Maybe I did, maybe not. However, I learned how little things can become big things. I'm hoping that my example encourages you to be sensitive to God's leading in your life.
* I am indebted to my parents who devised this decision-making model. I have altered it here to fit this illustration.
BE A MAN.
We were visiting Amsterdam, exploring shops and the canals. At one shop on the canal there were the most beautiful flowers you have ever seen. It was a wonderful day. Everything was perfect. We were walking hand-in-hand enjoying Amsterdam. Kinda like two kids at a zoo. Excitement. Fun. Happiness.
The next thing I know, Karyn says, "don't look right." So, I put my right hand up to block my view. Then she said, "don't look left." So, I put up my left hand to block my view. So, now, I am walking down this street on this beautiful day looking like a horse with blinders. I said, "what's going on?" Karyn said, "we've stumbled into the Red Light District." I dropped my hands and looked around and yep, she was right. There were some windows with scantily clad women beckoning us to come in. We promptly turned around and left that street.
You ask, "how in the world didn't you know that you were entering the most famous Red Light District in the world?" Well, it was still bright out, even though we didn't realize the sun was starting to descend. If it had been dark, we would have seen the red lights warning us that we had wandered into "adult" territory.
So, what does this story tell us about temptation?
Well, I was certainly glad that I had my wife with me. She saw things up ahead that I hadn't noticed. She loves me and wants to protect our marriage. So, if you are doing something new, something you have never done before, it would be good to not be alone. Because you never know what is on that street.
The person you take with you needs to be committed to holiness and purity. S/he needs to be able to stop you when you start to go somewhere you shouldn't be going. Because you never know what is on that street.
Temptation sneaks up on you when you least suspect. We were having a great time. Exploring Amsterdam, enjoying the sunshine and building memories. Then, boom! There it is. Right in front of you. Sometimes, we are lulled into complacency or feeling really good and then we are blindsided. Temptation can come from anywhere. You know why?
Because you never know what is on that street.
BE A MAN.
I pray that you, being rooted and established in love may have power . . .to grasp . . . the love of Christ.
We all have root systems. Roots are life-lines. They seek out and drink in water and nutrients. And they provide stability in times of wind and erosion.
Unfortunately, many of us are rooted in the soil of shame. Roots in this rocky soil become bound. They cannot sustain growth. They are not able to provide nourishment or stability.
Recovery for many of us is like being transplanted. It is the process of allowing God to first pull us out of the parched and rocky soil of shame and to then plant us in the soil of love. In the rich soil of love our fragile roots can finally begin to stretch, grow and take hold. It is a soil in which real nourishment and real stability are possible.
But transplantation is not a simple matter. No matter how gently God pulls us up out of the soil of shame, there will be trauma. And sinking roots in new soil will feel like an unfamiliar and risky adventure.
As our roots sink deeper and deeper in the soil of God's love, however, we will begin to experience growth that never could have been possible in the soil of rejection and shame. We will become 'rooted and established' in love.
My roots are in poor soil, Lord.
They do not nourish.
They provide no stability.
My roots are bound, Lord.
Give me grace-full soil, Lord.
Sink my roots deeply.
Give me stability.
In your love.
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan
National Association for Christian Recovery
So often, a person only reveals a difficult period of his or her life after the event, while reflecting on the event. This is especially true of "testimonies" given at church. A person stands to thank the Lord for seeing her through a dark period of life; meanwhile, many people stare in wonder how most of the rest of us were unaware of her living through such an event. I, too, used to live a privatized life. If I was struggling through a rough patch in my life, I would keep it all to myself, unwilling to share my pain or difficulties. Part of the reason for my privacy was fear, part of it was shame, and another part was pride. I have decided not to live my life like that any longer. I intend on being transparent about my struggles. I think that in doing so I can honor the Lord, live a more honest and thus healthy life, as well as give comfort to anyone who may be experiencing the exact same feelings.Over the last month or so I have felt loneliness unparalleled -- never have I felt this lonely. This lonely period began when I discovered that the only friend I had (in my area) was not really a friend, in the true sense of the word. Our relationship, unbeknownst to me, has never been one of true friendship but of convenience. If this certain person could not find anyone else to spend time with, then I would do. I was unaware that our so-called friendship was in this sad state of affairs. Now, in other periods of my life, I would have responded differently to this tragic state. But at this vulnerable point in my life, when I most need a close friend (with whom I can spend time and confide and share my thoughts and feelings, as well as reciprocate), I am left all alone and very hurt. The friend I thought I had was not really my friend at all.I often picture loneliness as a chasm because that is how it feels -- like a space of emptiness that needs filling. "But the Lord should fill that chasm," some say. Well, that sounds nice; that sounds like the typical, Christian, spiritual-yet-superficial pat-answer to every situation. But I cannot see the Lord, nor can I audibly hear His voice, or hug or touch or punch and be playful with Him like I would a friend. The Lord gives us like-minded friends who can excite the senses: sight, sound, touch, smell (hopefully pleasant). "Some friends play at friendship but a true friend sticks closer than one's nearest kin" (Prov. 18:24 NRSV). In my present situation, little did I know that I had the former but not the latter. This present loneliness is also coupled with a deep sense of rejection. The one is as hard to bear as the other. What I am learning from this experience is how to choose a friend more wisely in the future. The saying is true: we cannot choose our family members, but we can choose our friends. Nor can we choose if or when loneliness will visit us: all of us, no matter our age or social status, are susceptible to a brief encounter with loneliness (or depression or rejection). Spouses and members of large families often sense loneliness as much as any single person; so the mere presence of people in our lives will not guard us from its grip.Some people, when experiencing loneliness or depression, merely endure it instead of praying or calling someone or watching a movie or going for a walk; they merely sit and endure the grief and pain, the emotional and mental torment. For some, enduring these times is all they can do; they feel paralyzed by their emotions or mental state.I know firsthand that there are many people in the world today, Christian and non-Christian, who are lonely and depressed. I know so because I receive their emails. None of us should deny the fact that at certain times in our lives we must drink the cup of loneliness. We do not like this cup. We try to avoid drinking the contents of this cup. But often we are forced to take this cup, press it to our lips, and drink.I think the aversion we sense to such an experience is natural. We should not feel guilty because we try to avoid feeling lonely or depressed. However, Henri Nouwen has some sound advice:Whenever you feel lonely, you must try to find the source of this feeling. You are inclined either to run away from your loneliness or to dwell in it. When you run away from it, your loneliness does not really diminish; you simply force it out of your mind temporarily. When you start dwelling in it, your feelings only become stronger, and you slip into depression. The spiritual task is not to escape your loneliness, not to let yourself drown in it, but to find its source.1Why finding the source of your loneliness is so very important, he admits, is because "it leads you to discern something good about yourself."2 For me, that goodness is grounded in the fact that I consider myself worthy of friendship, with much to offer a friend. I despise this loneliness because it reminds me that I actually have been rejected, and it hurts. During Jesus' darkest hours in the garden at Gethsemane (lit. "the place of pressing"), He confessed to being deeply grieved, to the point of death, praying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me" (Matt. 26:39). Do we not pray the same prayer when we are facing some of the darkest hours of our lives? We all want our respective cups to pass from us. This cup of loneliness is mine to drink for now. No one else can drink from this particular cup. I must drink it, and I must drink it alone. A time will come when the contents of this cup will be depleted. I can then wash the cup, dry it, and place it back into the cupboard. I look forward to that day. 1 Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom (New York: Image Books, 1998), 36.
2 Ibid. This truly honest post was written by William Watson Birch. You can find the original post with comments here: http://www.classicalarminian.com/2013/01/the-cup-of-loneliness.htmlBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
The world is a getting safer. For centuries, violence has been subsiding.
Really? Most people find this hard to believe.
But consider evidence presented by Stephen Pinker in his fascinating book, The Better Angels of our Nature
(a Lincoln quote), published by Viking in 2011. Pinker teaches psychology at Harvard University and has won awards for his prior research.
The book is subtitled, Why Violence Has Declined.
Pinker argues, “The decline of violence may be the most significant and least appreciated development in the history of our species. Its implications touch the core of our beliefs and values—for what could be more fundamental than an understanding of whether the human condition, over the course of its history, has gotten steadily better, steadily worse, or has not changed?” (692).
Pinker argues that in point of fact violence has
declined over time and continues to do so.The Evidence
Pinker takes the long view, covering many millennia. But his primary focus is the last 2000 years. He marshals a wide range of data to prove his case that as a long-term trend, human violence has dropped dramatically.
Can it be? “Wasn’t the 20th century the bloodiest in history?” Pinker asks. “Haven’t new forms of war replaced old ones? Aren’t we living in the Age of Terror?” Yes, but
, he says. “[F]or all the dangers we face today, the dangers of yesterday were even worse.” Unlike the past, most people today “no longer have to worry about abduction into sexual slavery, divinely commanded genocide, lethal circuses and tournaments, punishment on the cross, rack, stake, or strappado for holding unpopular beliefs, decapitation for not bearing a son, disembowelment for having dated a royal, pistol duels to defend their honor, . . . and the prospect of a nuclear world war that would put an end to civilization or to human life itself” (30).
Such evils still exist, of course. But Pinker points to statistics. It’s true many people today—in some cases, millions—face lethal dangers like betrayal into slavery or the threat of genocide. But over centuries, and continuing today, the incidence of such horrors has been declining.
This can look like a cold, heartless analysis. Who cares about statistics when one’s six-year-old child has just been gunned down in her own classroom? And yet the very horror and immediacy of such violence can immunize us to the truth of larger trends. Or so Pinker argues.
Pinker focuses on the centuries-long decline in violence, particularly homicide, in Europe. He shows that in England murder rates have dropped dramatically since about 1200--“from the 13th century to the 20th, homicide in various parts of England plummeted by a factor of ten, fifty, and in some cases a hundred” (60). Unearthing this data, he says, “confounds every stereotype about the idyllic past and the degenerate present. When I surveyed perceptions of violence in an Internet questionnaire, people guessed that 20th-century England was about 14 percent more violent than 14th-century England. In fact it was 95 percent less violent” (61).
Today Europe is the safest place in the world to live.Violence and Human Culture
Pinker discusses violence within the larger context of culture and “the civilizing process.” As societies get organized into larger units, violence gradually comes under control—partly through government action (police or military, law codes) and partly because more civil behavior gradually becomes the cultural norm.
Drawing upon (with some qualification) the work of Norbert Elias (1897-1990), Pinker describes what happened in Europe over the past 800 years or so. “Europeans increasingly inhibited their impulses, anticipated the long-term consequences of their actions, and took other people’s thoughts and feelings into consideration. A culture of honor—the readiness to take revenge—gave way to a culture of dignity—the readiness to control one’s emotions.” This shift first took hold among “aristocrats and noblemen,” but these new values “were then absorbed into the socialization of younger and younger children until they became second nature.” The new norms also “trickled down from the upper classes to the bourgeoisie that strove to emulate them, and from them to the lower classes, eventually becoming a part of the culture as a whole” (72).
More pacific values and norms got increasingly internalized.
This change brought an array of cultural benefits, Pinker argues. “Across time and space, the more peaceable societies also tend to be richer, healthier, better educated, better governed, more respectful of their women, and more likely to engage in trade” (xxiii). “Since violence is largely a male pastime,” he adds, “cultures that empower women tend to move away from the glorification of violence and are less likely to breed dangerous subcultures of rootless young men” (xxvi).
Pinker’s basic argument is that “we enjoy the peace we find today because people in past generations were appalled by the violence in their time and worked to reduce it, and so we should work to reduce the violence that remains in our time” (xxvi).Kingdom of God Reflection
Pinker’s evidence seems pretty convincing. It is important precisely because it is so counterintuitive. It is a reminder not
to take for granted, at face value, what we hear on the news. We all know that bad things make news in ways that good things don’t.
Pinker misreads history, however, in at least one important respect. He largely ignores the role of Christian faith and ethics as a key factor in reducing violence, and more generally in “the civilizing process.” He engagingly describes the results, in other words, but misreads the causes.
My point at the moment, however, is simply that we—Christians and non-Christians alike—easily misread our own culture. All of us are caught up with the news of the day and our current concerns. Necessarily so. We simply don’t have the data nor the historical perspective to see the big picture or know how to read it.
This is a key reason why we need constantly to immerse ourselves in Scripture and keep company with the saints, not only of our time but of the ages. Aside from everything else we can say about the Bible, we can say this: It wasn’t written in the last ten or one hundred years! It’s not of our age. It breathes other ages and cultures and stories. It (so to speak) operates on different assumptions. That is its strength, not its weakness; its relevance, not its irrelevance. It teaches the way of love and shalom
through Jesus Christ; the peaceable kingdom.
Plus, the Bible is the inspired, once-for-all written Word of God! We need it in order to “read” our own time and place.
The Bible of course doesn’t answer the question of whether violence is really increasing or subsiding over time. The Bible promises both that evil will increase (2 Tim. 3:1-13) and that God’s kingdom will come. His will done on earth.
The Bible leaves us with that conundrum.
But really, it’s not a conundrum. It is a challenge and a call to kingdom faithfulness. The two ways. The world will get better or worse, or both at the same time. A whole lot depends on the faithfulness of God’s people in responding to God’s grace and power and being agents of God’s kingdom coming in our world today.
Meanwhile, let’s not buy into the popular pseudo-Christian myth that our world is inevitably and irredeemably going to the dogs. The gospel is more powerful than that.This post was written by Dr Howard Snyder. For the original post with comments, go to: http://seedbed.com/feed/the-world-is-getting-safer/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
A common problem that men have is how to handle it when a coworker has pornography at work. This is a very touchy issue.
What do you do when men are gathered around on the work site looking at pictures of naked women?
If a guy doesn't participate, he is "hen-pecked" or "gay" or.... The name calling starts and the accusations fly if a guy isn't "one of the guys." He's not a "team player." What's a man to do in these situations? After all, he has a reputation to protect.
Reputation is the key word in this story. Reputation is the answer. Jesus took His reputation and laid it all on the line for us so that we could have strength in times like this. Jesus could have been satisfied to leave things the way they were and stayed in heaven. However, He put aside His reputation, His Deity, to become like us. He risked, knowing that His Father would take care of His reputation.
Like yesterday's post, honesty is needed. Asking God for strength to be vulnerable and transparent is how you handle porn at work. Have the gumption to step up and tell your coworkers why looking at porn is not healthy. Let them know that there is much more to a woman than just what she does to make a man feel sexual.
You know what will happen if you take this step? Like Jesus, you may be crucified. I don't mean that these guys will string you up and kill you but they will belittle you. They will tell you that you are not a real man. They will tease you because they want you to participate in their sinfulness.
You know what else will happen? There will always be at least one guy who agrees with you. He may not publicly, but he will at least come to you privately or at least not join in when the teasing starts.
If you stick to your integrity and respect women, you will make a statement. You will only have to say it once. Your statement will have an impact. If you never participate with them in objectifying women from that point on, God's Holy Spirit will work on these men. They will watch you. So, if you have integrity in everything you do at work, they will see it and they will change.
Your reputation? Don't worry about it. God will protect your reputation if you are doing what He wants. A real man respects and honors women. A real man stands up for what is right, even if it means standing alone.
BE A MAN.
What do you do when you are placed in a situation where you feel trapped?
I knew a guy who, like many men, had a desire to look at scantily clad, attractive women. He used to be an avid fan of Playboy magazine but as he grew in his personal relationship with Christ, he came to respect women more and was able to not spend his time obsessing about women as sex objects.
He had a good childhood friend that lived cross-country and his friend invited him to spend a week with him. His friend had a small one-bedroom apartment with a very small spare room where his friend kept his book collection. This man was to sleep in this small spare room during his visit. As he was laying there, on the couch in this small room, he started to observe the books and magazines that were in this collection. Some books were classics, some contemporary spy thrillers, and some books about military history.
Next, his eyes glanced at the magazine collection. What he didn't know about his friend is that his friend collected Playboy magazines. He had almost every issue over the previous 10 years. They were catalogued and displayed quite prominently. As he lay there trying to sleep, his mind kept wandering back to the Playboy collection that was within his reach. His mind thought back to the images that were in his mind from his previous experience with Playboy. His heart was pounding in his ears and his mind said, "it's OK to look at them. You won't be here but just a few nights. It's not like they belong to you."
What would you do? Your character determines how you will handle this situation. Your true character shows when no one is looking.
How do you handle this? God promises a way of escape. What is the answer?
Honesty. God's strength to be vulnerable and transparent.
Fortunately, this man did the right thing. He woke his friend up and they had a conversation about Playboy. Even though his friend didn't think it was a big deal to look at Playboy, his friend took the magazines out of the room and put them in his own bedroom.
This man kept his integrity. He stayed away from sinful behavior.
Is his friend still collecting Playboy magazines? I dunno.
But his friend now knows that not all men think that looking at porn is acceptable. Maybe nobody ever told him that before...
BE A MAN.
Lord, the feelings are not the same
I guess I'm older, I guess I've changed
And how I wish it had been explained
That as you're growing you must remember
That nothing lasts, except the grace of God
By which I stand, in Jesus
I know that I would surely fall away, except for grace
By which I'm saved
Lord, I remember that special way
I vowed to serve You, when it was brand new
But like Peter, I can't even watch and pray
One hour with You and I bet, I could deny You too.
But nothing lasts, except the grace of God
By which I stand, in Jesus
I'm sure that my whole life would waste away, except for grace
By which I'm saved
But nothing lasts, except the grace of God
By which I stand, in Jesus
I know that I would surely fall away, except for grace
By which I'm saved