You Cannot be Touched by the Evil One

We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them (1 John 5:18).

Who You are In ChristWhen I was growing up, I would torment my brother by playing the “I’m not touching you game.” I’d move my finger as close to him as possible without actually making contact. As if that wasn’t annoying enough, I would then hold it there for as long as it took to get a reaction from him.

Naturally, he would become irritated and tell me to knock it off. My response, being the brat that I was, was always the same: “Knock what off? I’m not even touching you.”

In a lot of ways, this is the same game that Satan plays with you as a believer. The difference though, is he doesn’t hold back from touching you because he’s content with merely annoying you. He holds back from touching you because he no longer has the power to touch you.

He knows this, of course. Which is why he will still try to get as close to you as possible. He will push up against the force-field of faith that surrounds you, leaning in close enough to whisper accusations in your ear to deceive you into believing you are still vulnerable.

But these are lies. You are not vulnerable. The evil one cannot touch you.

I encourage you to rest in this verse. Remind yourself of it whenever you face temptation. Believe it is true, even for you. Trust that the shield of faith truly will protect you from the fiery arrows of accusation, condemnation, and temptation that Satan hurls toward you.

Remember, you are in Christ. You are a child of God, a saint, fused with Jesus Himself, secure for all eternity.

Which means you have been made invincible to the attacks of the enemy.


This has been a repost from the archives.

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Smart Quote: The Angelic Warfare Confraternity

“Dear Jesus, I know that every perfect gift and especially that of chastity depends on the power of your Providence. Without you, a mere creature can do nothing. Therefore, I beg you to defend by your grace the chastity and purity of my body and soul. And if I have ever imagined or felt anything that can stain my chastity and purity, blot it out, Supreme Lord of my powers, that I may advance with a pure heart in your love and service, offering myself on the most pure altar of your divinity all the days of my life.” —Prayer of the Angelic Warfare Cofraternity

Thoughts on this quote? Feel free to discuss them in the comments below.

What if We Were Actually Honest with Each Other in Our Christmas Letters?

I love Christmas.

I love the fancy lights, the ridiculous sweaters, and even the frigid weather up here in the Northwest.

Most of all though, I love seeing the joy, anticipation, and excitement on kid’s faces, which is probably why I hope to be a mall Santa when I retire. (You think I’m kidding. I’m not.)

But I’m not going to talk about any of that today.

Because today, I’m here to call you out on something:

We need to talk about your
annual Christmas letter.

Every year our mailboxes are flooded with these letters sharing highlights from the previous year:

  • Billy made the honor roll for the 4th straight year.
  • Susie married her Ivy-League boyfriend at the Yacht Club!
  • We had the most wonderful family vacation to Paris!
  • Look at all these pictures of us smiling and living our perfect life!

If we’re being honest, most of us use these letters to paint a picture that our lives are perfect. In reality, we know they aren’t. Furthermore, when we read these letters from others, it’s tempting to compare our life to the life they’re putting on display, confirming our suspicion that ours is often not what we hoped it would be.

But what if we stopped comparing our outtakes to everyone else’s highlight reels?

Or, better yet:

What if we actually trusted others with our real lives?

What if we actually trusted
others with our real lives?

From my own personal experience, I can tell you this would change everything.

Why? Because allowing others to love you where you’re at is the first step to believing God loves you where you’re at.

But in order to do that, you need to actually let someone know what’s really going on in your life.

For reals.

I’m not saying you need to rewrite your Christmas letter to confess all your shortcomings and struggles to your entire mailing-list. What I would suggest, is that we all need someone in our life whom we feel safe enough with to share not just our highlights, but our outtakes as well.

In other words, we need to stop hiding our junk.

We all need someone in our life
whom we feel safe enough with
to share not just our highlights,
but our outtakes as well.

So, in the spirit of “practice what you preach,” I give you the 2014 Belt of Truth Christmas Letter (Honest Edition):

Buddy the ElfDear Friends,

As I look back over 2014, I’m incredibly grateful for all the wonderful people in my life, and the amazing experiences I’ve been blessed with. I could easily fill this letter with highlights from last year: releasing my book to the wild, attending some amazing conferences, renting a bounce castle for my birthday…

Needless to say it’s been a great year.

But instead of focusing only on the external stuff, I’d like to let you know what’s going on in my heart as well:

  • For starters, I am not a patient person. I want my book to be selling better now. I want answers to all of my prayers now. I want the lady checking out in front of me to stop filling out that check and to use a debit card like the rest of the world. I don’t like to wait for anything, which is probably why God has me in a season of waiting at the moment.
  • On a related note, I’m trying to become okay with the fact that after six months, it appears the odds of me being the next Donald Miller, Randy Alcorn, or John Eldredge, are slim at best. I would love this message of freedom to reach thousands of men, but I also wonder if that is what’s truly motivating that desire. Do I want to spread the message, or do I just want fame and wealth? Deep down, I worry about how I would handle that level of influence if God did give it to me, so perhaps the slow sales are actually Him protecting me.
  • I fear that my limited time with my daughter will never be enough to steer her away from the negative cultural influences I already see effecting her. Furthermore, when I am with her, I feel as if I have no idea how to teach her about Jesus. I have no problem standing up in front of a hundred men to share with them how Jesus changed my life, but my fear of failing as her dad often paralyzes me from talking about the same things with her.
  • I sometimes ignore my friends when I see them in real-life. I’ll pretend I don’t notice them and walk away to avoid the pleasantries and small talk. The thing is, I genuinely like these people, so this really makes no sense to me.
  • I’ve been known to take more than one sample at Costco. Sure, everyone does this, but here’s the deal: I feel zero remorse about it. None. Sometimes, I don’t even try to hide it. I’m a monster.
  • And finally, on a more serious note, even though God has set me free from the chains of my addiction to porn, I still walk back into its trap once or twice a year. 2014 was a “twice year,” but I have hope that 2015 will be a “once year.” Perhaps it will even be a “none year.” To be honest, I hate this. It makes me feel like a hypocrite knowing God has called me to help men with this issue, yet my own batting average remains imperfect. I want so badly to be done with it altogether.

All this goes to show that even though I’ve seen God do amazing things in my life in 2014, I still haven’t “arrived,” which is why I continue to need His grace and mercy daily.

So, here’s to another year of learning how to live out of my identity in Christ. And, by His grace, another year of growing more and more like Him.

With His love,
Stephen

There you go. This is what goes on in my heart. Obviously, I’m not perfect. But let’s be honest here…none of us are.

As you look forward to 2015, maybe you will decide it’s the year for you to stop pretending everything is perfect.

Perhaps it’s time to finally trust someone to walk with you…pray for you…and love you for who you really are…outtakes and all.

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results (James 5:16).

So, my friend, what did you leave out of your Christmas letter this year?

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Weekly Web (W)roundup

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Each week, I round up the best resources, articles, and videos I find that are relevant to finding freedom from porn addiction. Please note that by posting a link here it does not mean I agree with everything in the linked article. It just means I found it interesting enough to share.


CovenantEyes: How Pornography Drives the Demand for Sex Slavery

“According to Shared Hope International’s report on the demand for sex trafficking, pornography on the Internet is a gateway to the purchase of humans for commercial sex. This becomes clear when we think critically about what pornography is and how it affects its consumers.”

CCEF: Asking Forgiveness from a Prostitute

“It seems obvious, but I have never suggested it: if a man has been with a prostitute, it is right for him to ask her forgiveness. Consider this story.”

First Things: Pornography and Acedia—A Spiritual Analysis of and Remedy for Lust of The Eyes

“A uniquely toxic combination of the lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh has become an almost normal component of everyday life: the perturbingly pervasive use of pornography in general and internet pornography in particular, with its dangerous addictiveness and its lethal effect on the Christian spiritual life. To comprehend the spiritual roots of this crisis, we need to recall an all-too-forgotten vice, acedia, usually called ‘sloth’ but better rendered as ‘spiritual apathy.'”

John Lynch: On My Worst Day

Smart Quote: A. W. Tozer

“Jesus is not one of many ways to approach God, nor is He the best of several ways; He is the only way.” —A. W. Tozer

Thoughts on this quote? Feel free to discuss them in the comments below.

Weekly Web (W)roundup

weekly_roundup-img-640x290

Each week, I round up the best resources, articles, and videos I find that are relevant to finding freedom from porn addiction. Please note that by posting a link here it does not mean I agree with everything in the linked article. It just means I found it interesting enough to share.


People of the Second Chance: The Greatest Gift You Have to Offer

“Our own stories reflect this truth. Often, we see our failures as liabilities, things to be forgotten, edited or removed all together. If it were up to us, we’d tear out every page in our story that represented the negative parts of our life. In short, our shame makes us terribly boring authors.”

Mick Mooney: What Would Jesus Do? Do You Really Want to Know?

“Once upon a time, a mother made her son a wristband. On it was written: WWJD? This, of course stood for: “What Would Jesus Do?” She instructed her son to look at the wristband before making decisions on how to live his Christian life. A week later she was shocked to see that her son had become friends with prostitutes, was hanging out with ‘sinners’ — even buying people who were already drunk yet another round of beers!”

The Gospel Coalition: How the Normalization of Pornography Fuels the Rape Culture

“Why does society all too often objectify female bodies while devaluing or ignoring female consciousness and experiences? We contend that the normalization of pornography contributes significantly to the ‘rape culture.’ Sadly, a significant number of those responsible for describing and attempting to address issues related to the “rape culture” are the very ones normalizing the viewing of pornography.”

Desiring God: What are You Looking For?

“Most of us, if we’re honest, would admit that the daily grind on this planet can be rather unsatisfying. The labor never pays off like we imagined. The respites never deliver like we hoped. There is more, right? We’ve all felt this deep down. There’s got to be more.

Craig Gross: Sex, lies, and social media

In Christ, You are a Child of God

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! (1 John 1:31)

Who You are In ChristIf you’ve spent much time around here, you may wonder if this blog is more about being a father than finding freedom from pornography addiction.

To be honest, there’s a pretty good reason for that. The truth is, as much as I love writing about finding freedom from pornography, I simply can’t help writing about being a dad. It’s the greatest joy in my life.

The Bible refers to children as a gift from the Lord, and even though there are days when I question how true that may be, I have to say I whole-heartedly agree.

I love my daughter more than anything.

She is my joy.

She is my blessing.

And you know what? My feelings towards her have nothing to do with her behavior or how “lovable” she is at any given moment. In fact, I remind her all the time that there is nothing she could do to make me love her any more or love her any less, because I already love her with all of my love, and that will never change.

I love her solely because she is my child.

But get this: You are a child of God, which means the God who created the entire universe feels exactly the same about you!

You are God’s joy.

You are God’s blessing.

Even on your worst day, when you’re wallowing in sin, throwing tantrums, and being a complete pill, God still looks at you and says: “Man I love that kid. How lucky am I to have him as my son?”

God is absolutely crazy about you, and that will never change, because you are now His child.


This has been a repost from the archives.

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Smart Quote: Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“The pursuit of purity is not about the suppression of lust, but about the reorientation of one’s life to a larger goal.” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Thoughts on this quote? Feel free to discuss them in the comments below.

How Does Trusting Jesus Help Me with Porn?

10 Lies Men Believe about PornThis post has been adapted from the chapter, “Lie #7: God Can Set Others Free from Pornography Addiction, but Not Me,” in my new book, 10 Lies Men Believe about PornThis post is the final part of an 8-week series on life-changing faith. If you would like to begin at part 1, you can do that here.

Stop the porn processWe often think the sin process begins when we find ourselves in front of the computer with our pants around our ankles. But in reality, the process begins much earlier when you stop trusting—consciously or unconsciously—that Jesus knows (and wants) what is best for you.

If, however, you can learn to recognize the moment when your trust in Him begins to slip, you can stop the sin process before it ever gets a chance to start.

When I end up losing the battle with pornography, it’s a similar process nearly every time. I start thinking about what a life of singleness and celibacy might look like and begin to believe I won’t be able to handle it. I decide that Jesus is being unfair by asking me to remain single and is actually holding out on me. I start thinking that my sexual desires are actually sexual needs, and that Jesus can’t be trusted to meet those needs. It’s up to me to meet them.

Notice how all of this happens before I ever end up in front of the computer. By the time I even sit down to “check my e-mail” or whatever other excuse I’m trying to convince myself is the real reason I’m there, I’ve already decided in my mind what is going to happen. I may still go through the motions of trying to resist the temptation, but I’ve already given myself permission to indulge. Fighting it will only increase my anticipation and make it more pleasurable when I eventually give in.

But if I learn to recognize my dwindling trust back when I first start to question Jesus, I can choose to respond with faith and stop this cycle before it even begins. I can trust that He really does know what I need better than I do. I can recognize that I don’t need sex to meet my need for intimacy; I don’t need a girlfriend or pornography; I only need Jesus.

I can fight the battle of sin by choosing to believe the truth, and the truth will set me free.

 •••

If you aren’t experiencing the freedom from sin Jesus offers you, ask yourself whether it’s a sign that He isn’t trustworthy, or a sign that you aren’t trusting Him. Don’t wait until you feel dead to sin or free from bondage before you believe it to be true about you. Trust that it’s true because the Bible says it is. If you do chose to trust these truths, you will begin to experience them in your life.

God’s goal for your life isn’t for you to try to sin less; it’s to trust Him more. The amazing thing, though, is the more you trust Him, the less you will end up sinning. This is why life for a believer truly begins when you move from mere belief to absolute, unwavering trust; when you believe that every word Jesus said is true; when you get in the wheelbarrow; when you jump off the cliff.

So stop playing whack-a-mole with your sin. Trust that Jesus has already set you free from it, and walk away from the game altogether.

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Will You be the Winner of our Ultimate Biblical Masculinity Resource Kit?

ComboTitleOne of the coolest things about running an online ministry is the access I’ve been given to so many wonderful and influential people working towards the same goal: helping others meet Jesus.

Recently, I contacted a few of these folks to see if they would be interested in sharing their resources with you guys.

Their generosity blew my mind.

Not only did these ministries offer enough stuff for me to put together an amazing holiday giveaway contest, they donated enough for me to offer it to five lucky winners!

That’s right, five people are going to win an epic prize package worth over $145 in our first annual Biblical Masculinity Resource Kit Giveaway Contest.

Each kit contains the following:

Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge (Book)

God has put core desires into the heart of every man and Wild at Heart will help you discover and understand them. If you want to know what true biblical masculinity looks like, this is the book for you.

Men Talking about Women, from Ransomed Heart (4 CDs)

John shares on sexual healing and wholeness, including a guided time of healing prayer. Never before has this been made available outside our men’s retreats. Topping off the series, the guys head back to the studio to offer some very honest and hopeful stories from their journeys.

The Cure, by John Lynch (Book)

This book has changed my life more than any other. It’s as if the authors took everything God had taught me over my journey to freedom and put into one book in an easy-to-follow and understand format.

Surfing for God, by Michael John Cusick (Book)

Michael John Cusick’s insights help readers understand how porn struggles begin, what to do to prevent them, and most importantly, how to overcome the compulsion once it begins. In the end, this powerful book shows us all how the barrier built by porn addiction can become a bridge to abundant life.

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn, by Stephen Kuhn (Book)

Yes, this is my book. But I added it to the giveaway because I strongly believe the message I share throughout it. If you are looking for one single book to help you understand and experience God’s path to freedom from pornography, this is it.

1-year license to X3watch premium (Filter/Accountability software)

Every day you make choices to develop your physical, social, and professional health. Why leave your online health to chance? X3watch makes it easier to enjoy the good stuff without worrying about the rest.

All you need to do is enter here before December 14th. But don’t wait too long, because once you sign up you will get a custom link to share with your friends. And for every sign-up that comes through your link, you’ll get five additional entries.

Good luck!


Sign me up!