Part 2 of My Interview on the ASI247 Podcast

Interview MicLast weekend I cruised back up to Seattle to record the second part of my interview with Russ Shaw on the ASI247 podcast.

We covered the remainder of the 10 Lies Men Believe about Porn, focusing mainly on the important (and often misunderstood) necessity of forgiveness if we want to walk in true freedom. We also spent some time talking about the story behind my book, and how God doesn’t want us to shut down our desire, He wants to redeem it for the good of His kingdom.

Listen to the show here.

If you have questions or comments related to the show, just hit me up in the comments below.

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn Preview

In Christ, You Have the Promise of Life

This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I have been sent out to tell others about the life He has promised through faith in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:1).

Who You are In Christ

The Apostle Paul knew his calling was to tell others about the life that is promised to those who put their faith in Christ.

But what exactly is Paul talking about when he says “Life.”

The way I look at it, there are two ways to interpret Paul’s use of the word “life” in this context.

On one hand, we could read this as Paul saying “Here’s what your day-to-day life will look like for you if you chose to follow Jesus.”

If this were the message God wanted to communicate to the world through a man though, don’t you think He would have chosen someone other than Paul?

Seriously, take a look at Paul’s life:

I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm (2 Corinthians 11:23–27).

Prison… Beatings… Shipwrecks… Sleeplessness… 

I’m pretty sure nobody is going to voluntarily sign up for a life like Paul’s…not unless there’s something attached to it so amazing that it makes all these hardships pale in comparison.

Ah, but there is something attached to it:

The life of Christ living within you.

Eternal life.

This is the life that Paul is talking about.

You see, Paul’s calling wasn’t to tell others how Jesus wanted to change their day-to-day lives. His calling was to help them see their need for the eternal life of Christ to redeem their hearts (which would give them the power to thrive within their day-to-day lives).

Hopefully you won’t ever find yourself shipwrecked or starving, but if you do, rest in the fact that the same life of Christ that dwelled in Paul dwells in you as well.

Which means when your day-to-day life gets hard, you can do more than simply try to survive…you can thrive.

How has the life of Christ empowered you to endure hardships in your life?

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn Preview

Smart Quote: Paul Tripp

“You will face loss, trouble and disappointment, but nothing has the power to separate you from your Redeemer's unrelenting love.” —Paul David Tripp

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

Do You Truly Believe what You Think You Believe?

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 is part 2 in an 8-week series on life-changing faith. If you would like to begin at part 1, you can do that here.

We often think the key to following Jesus is simply to believe in Him. But if belief were all that mattered, even the demons would be saved. The demons may believe in God, but they don’t trust Him. They don’t have faith—an absolute trust that everything the Word of God says is true.

f5ce46a82328374df452366234e31d2aA well-known story tells of a tightrope walker entertaining a crowd at Niagara Falls. At first, he simply walked across a cable strung above the waterfall, but as the crowd grew, he continued to up the stakes. He did a lap while juggling and another lap blindfolded. He even rode a bike across the line. The crowd watched in amazement, wondering what he would attempt next.

As he returned back to the side of the river where many had gathered to watch, he got off his bike and pulled out a wheelbarrow. He then turned to address the crowd.

“Do you believe I can walk across this tightrope without falling?”

“Yes!” roared the crowd.

“Do you believe I can walk across this tightrope while pushing this wheelbarrow?”

“We do!” they yelled.

“Do you believe I can walk across this tightrope while pushing this wheelbarrow with someone riding in it?”

The crowd went nuts. They couldn’t wait to see this trick.

“Then who would like to volunteer to be my rider?”

Silence.

Every person in the crowd may have believed he could do it, but no one was willing to trust him by getting into the wheelbarrow. So in reality, even though they said they believed he could do it, their lack of trust proved they didn’t.

This distinction is important to understand: What you say you believe is not necessarily what you do believe. Even what you think you believe may not be what you truly believe. What you do and what you trust are what exposes your true beliefs. In this way, faith is belief that is backed by trust and therefore results in action.

Everybody has faith in something. For many, it’s faith in their own wisdom or abilities. For others, it’s faith in a religion or in rituals. But if your true faith isn’t in Jesus, it will never result in a changed life. That’s because faith is only as strong as its object, and the only “object” that has the power to change you is Jesus.

•••

We see this misplaced faith in the Pharisees all throughout the Gospels. These men trusted in their knowledge of the Scriptures and their ability to follow the Law to give them life. They studied the Scriptures diligently, but when they met Jesus, they refused to take the next step by putting their faith in Him:

You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want (John 5:39–40 MSG)

These men believed the Scriptures, but when Jesus asked them to trust in Him to find the life they were looking for, they chose not to get in the wheelbarrow.

Just like these Pharisees, if you believe in Jesus but don’t trust Him enough to do what He’s asking you to do, you will keep looking for other things to make you feel like you are actually following Him. But you will miss out on the blessings of knowing Christ. Not because His blessings are not true, but because you are looking for ways to receive them without actually trusting Him.

 

Many people interpret this lack of blessing
as a sign that Jesus isn’t working for them.
In reality, it’s a sign that they aren’t trusting
in Him—they are still trusting in themselves.

 

Please don’t interpret this as a call to buck up and try harder. You may be thinking, I just need to work up some more faith! I need to follow God’s rules better! These may sound like the righteous things to do, but by doing them you would be putting your faith back on yourself and your own ability to please God. None of us will ever be able to generate more faith on our own, though, because faith is a gift that God gives to you.

So if you feel the need for more faith, don’t try to muster it up on your own. Pray like the man who approached Jesus, asking Him to free his son from demonic oppression:

“I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).

 

Continue to Part 3: Why Isn’t God Coming Through for Me?

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn Preview

Interview on the Dustin Daniels Show

Interview MicI’m excited to announce the first part of my interview on the Dustin Daniels show just went live online, a full day before it airs on the radio.

We talked about a lot of topics:

  • How hiding my porn addiction and pretending to be a “good christian” caused way more harm than good.
  • How my attempts to protect myself were actually contributing to my bondage.
  • How the majority of guys I’ve met who struggle with porn are believing the same lies.
  • How these lies can still cause damage even though they aren’t true.

Go ahead and give it a listen.

If you have questions or comments related to the show, just hit me up in the comments below.

Thanks!

Weekly Web (W)roundup

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Each week, I roundup 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.


Covenant Eyes: Destroying Porn Addiction Starts with Destroying Shame 

“Destroying porn addiction starts when we choose to confront the shame we feel around it. We must choose to come out of hiding, confess our struggle with others, and build safeguards that prevent us from hiding ever again.”

Fierce Marriage: 4 Surprising Facets of Transparency in Marriage

“When we talk about transparency, the response is nearly unanimous: it’s a vital part of marriage and relationships. You really can’t build a meaningful bond with your spouse if you’re hiding part of yourself. But most often, hiding is our first instinct.”

Gospel Coalition: Mutual Confession—A Holy Experiment

“Our secrets are usually secret for good reason. Our secrets are the worst of ourselves. Our secrets are foibles, faults, and harmful follies that have pierced the hearts of others, and far worse, the heart of God himself. Many times, our greatest secrets conceal our gravest sins.”

TrueFaced: Very First Moment

In Christ, You have been Given the gifts of Faith and Love

Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 1:14)

Who You are In Christ

Have you ever thought I just need to generate more faith?

I know I have.

But here’s the deal. Faith isn’t something you can increase on your own, it’s a gift from God.

When a man brought his son to Jesus and asked for him to be healed, Jesus asked if he truly believed in his heart that what he was asking for could be done. In other words, did he have faith?

And how did the man respond?

Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).

This man had heard about Jesus healing others, so he believed in his head what he was asking for could be done.

But that isn’t faith…it’s knowledge.

Faith is when your belief moves from your head into your heart.

For this man, faith came the moment he believed the healing he had seen Jesus offer to others was available to him as well. And in order to believe that, He needed Jesus to help Him overcome his unbelief.

Did Jesus respond to this man’s request with a list of things for him to do to increase his faith? Not at all. Jesus healed the man’s son, proving His faithfulness in spite of the man’s unbelief.

Jesus knew that only His faithfulness would increase the man’s faith. 

Every time you choose to trust Jesus, He will come through for you. Always. And the more He proves to be faithful, the more your faith will increase. Looking at it that way, it’s easy to see how faith is not something you generate on your own, it’s the result of Jesus coming through for you 100% of the time.

In the same way, love is not something you can generate on your own either. It’s the result of Jesus loving you unconditionally:

We love each other because he loved us first (1 John 4:19).

You can have faith because Jesus has been faithful.

You can love others, because Jesus has loved you.

Both are amazing gifts that come as part of being in Christ.

What experiences has Jesus used to increase your faith and love?

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn Preview

Smart Quote: Brennan Manning

"Faith means wanting God and wanting to want nothing else." -Brennan Manning

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

If God asked You to Jump off a Cliff, would You Trust Him Enough to do it?

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 Porn.

This is the first post in an 8-week series on life-changing faith.

Jumping In

I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I live in the most beautiful state in the Union. Sure, some states have great beaches. Some states have great mountains. You can find amazing forests in Vermont and spectacular deserts in Arizona. Oregon, however, has all of these. So, as you frequently hear on ESPN during football season…Oregon wins.

A few months back I went for a hike to Steelhead Falls, a 25-foot waterfall along the Deschutes River in the high desert of Central Oregon. I had only been planning on a leisurely hike, but once I reached the falls, plans changed. I ran into a group of college kids jumping off the cliffs into the river below. Immediately, the part of my brain that still thinks I’m a teenager began pushing me to jump off the cliff as well.

Come on, old man! It’s hot. The water is perfect. Everyone else is jumping in, so you know it’s safe. Do it! What’s the matter, McFly? You chicken?

I took off my backpack, stripped down to my shorts, walked to the edge of the cliff, looked down at the water…

Nope.

Fear showed up. Logic kicked in. I came up with many compelling and well-thought-out excuses of why this was a terrible idea.

I backed away from the cliff.

•••

We do the exact same thing with God, don’t we?

When was the last time you felt Him leading you to do something that made no sense or was outside of your comfort zone? Perhaps it was an urge to share your faith with a friend. Maybe you felt you needed to ask forgiveness from someone you had wronged. For me, it was coming clean and confessing the full extent of my pornography addiction and adultery to my wife.

Why would I ever do that? That makes no sense at all.

But God’s ways aren’t always logical in the eyes of man. He knew the only way I could ever be free from my addiction, and the only way our marriage could ever heal, was if I brought everything into the light where it could finally be dealt with.

I wrestled with God for years on coming clean. I kept inching up to the cliff, looking over the edge, and saying no. I was too afraid it would cost me my marriage. I kept telling God He didn’t know what He was asking me to do. I convinced myself that what He was asking simply wasn’t logical.

I wasn’t being logical, though. I was being a coward.

I looked for other ways down to the water, such as marriage books or counseling, but those roads never led anywhere. I tried wading into the water slowly by confessing only part of my sin to her, but that only caused pain without opening the door for any real healing.

Ultimately, I didn’t believe God could be trusted.

But He kept standing right there with me, gently saying, “Jump, my son. Jump into this adventure of faith. There is no other way to get to where I want to take you. Just trust me in this. It’s worth it.”

And so one day, when I realized I had no other options left, I jumped. I confessed everything to my wife. Yes, there were tears. There was immense pain. The consequences were devastating.

But in that moment—when I finally jumped in and trusted God no matter how illogical it seemed—He became real to me.

•••

You can believe jumping off the cliff is safe. You can watch others do it. You can admire the drop from the top, carefully climb down the rocks, and dip a toe in the water. But no matter what you do, if you don’t jump, you will never experience the thrill of jumping off the cliff. There’s just no way to experience it halfway.

Likewise, you can’t go halfway with Jesus. If you aren’t all in, you’re not really in at all. You must come to a point where you trust Him enough to jump off that cliff.

Being all in is not about being perfect. It’s about believing that Jesus really is the Son of God and that He knows what’s best for you, and trusting what He asks you to do no matter what. It’s an absolute trust that every word, every promise, and every blessing spoken in the Bible is true—even for you—whether it feels true or not.

TRUTH: If you believe Jesus is Lord,
you can trust that everything He promises
you is true, even for you.

 

Continue to Part 2: Do You Truly Believe what You Think You Believe?

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn Preview

Weekly Web (W)roundup

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Each week, I roundup 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.


Relevant Magazine: 8 Warning Signs Your Marriage Might Be In Trouble 

“Old-time miners used to keep canaries down in the mines where they dug. Before there were sophisticated instruments, the best way to detect the slow leak of poisonous gas was to have a canary—with tiny lungs—serve as an organic ‘meter.’ If the canary died, poisonous gas was likely leaking out and the miners got above ground as soon as possible. So, what are the ‘canaries’ for marriage? What are some of the signs that a marriage is really in trouble?”

XXXChurch: Secrets

“As a pastor, you get to hear a lot of secrets; but how often do you get to tell your own? I don’t know if you have ever told somebody a secret, but it feels really good. Whether it’s a secret about some new direction your life is taking, or about the surprise party you’re throwing for your best friend’s birthday, or the news about a baby on the way, getting it off your chest and into the air, into someone else’s brain, is a freeing sensation.”

CCEF: Why Keep Sexual Boundaries?

“Recently, I was talking with an older, single man who keeps drifting back into sexual sin. It’s as if the tide of sexuality is going to win in the end—like he is destined to postpone sexual sin—but not to beat it. That way of thinking is scary enough, but there is more.”

Glennon Doyle Melton: Lessons from the Mental Hospital