My One Thing: Tom “T.C.” Ryan

“What’s the one piece of advice you would give
to someone struggling with porn addiction?”

Tom “TC” Ryan is the author of the book Ashamed No More: A Pastor’s Journey through Sex Addiction.

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Steve: Hey guys! Steve here with Belt of Truth Ministries. I’m on the line with Tom “TC” Ryan. Tom is the author of the book Ashamed No More: A Pastor’s Journey Through Sex Addiction. Tom, thanks for joining us. What’s the one piece of advice that you would give to somebody struggling with porn addiction?

Tom: The one thing that I can think of, I’ve been thinking of all those weeks Stephen, is this – burn your maybes. Burn your maybes. And I’m stealing from Paul Williams. Some of your older viewers will remember Paul as singer, song writer, composer, Emmy award-winning, Tony award-winning, great artesian. But Paul also is a recovery advocate and he used that line in some of his talks, Burn Your Maybes, because everybody who’s compulsive, everybody who’s an addict, and I know this is true on my journey, we’ve got a pocket full of maybes, and they run like this – maybe I’m not that bad or maybe if I can just string together some sobriety for a period of time, I can clean this up. Maybe I can roll it backwards. But once we become compulsive, then something else has taken a hold in our soul and we’re going to have to burn those maybes because we’ve got a real problem. There’s a way through it. There’s a way to deal with it. Recovery really does work, but we’ve got to keep burning those maybes, and the thing is we got a pocket full of them, and they’ll keep coming up. Really what it is, is that AA line “being able to do whatever it takes to get well.” Being willing to do whatever it takes. Am I going to sell out to this thing? And it’s kind of like the spiritual life. We got to keep coming back to our commitment, coming back to our surrender, coming back to the truth. Do I really believe? Am I really willing to do whatever it takes to follow Christ? A lot of us will say “I remember when I really became a believer or when I prayed the prayer or when I got born again” or whatever. Some of us don’t have those kinds of memories, but all of us get tested on that. Do I really believe. Am I really sold out? Will I really do what it takes to follow Jesus? Recovery is just a subset of the spiritual life, I think. It’s got some specifics to it. It’s got particulars to it. But really what it is, is it me coming back to that question – do I really have a problem and am I willing to do whatever it takes to become well? So I’d say primary thing is willingness or burn your maybes.

Steve: I like it, burn your maybes. Thanks for sharing that. Tell people where they can find out more about you and your ministry and books and all that.

Tom: Yeah, thanks. I’ve got a Facebook page, TC Ryan. I just had the one book right now, Ashamed No More, Intervarsity published it. You can find it on their website or on Amazon. I do have a website, and I’ll just say right now it’s a little bit pedestrian. It’s very calm. It’s a very calm website, so it’s not exciting. You can reach me through that website as well or my Facebook page, and then probably in the next few months we’ll be upgrading that a little bit. Other than a Kansas City area, I used to be a pastor. I had a church for 19 years, and the last 7 years have been my biggest growth period in recovery. I’ve been working at recovery a long time. But as you know, sexual addiction recovery it’s not simple. It’s not one and done. We are always growing, always working through things. And the last 7 years have been a remarkable period for me. So now I work with guys in recovery and in spiritual development and I’m very, very grateful. And I appreciate you, appreciate your book. My guys have been reading your book and a lot of great stuff in there. I appreciate what you’re doing, Belt of Truth, and just this conversation that you have with so many different guys. I’ve been looking at some of them, and some great thoughts that are coming out. We have to encourage each other because this is a hard, hard problem but as you know, because of the internet, the genie has come out of the bottle and is never going to go back in, and we’ve got a whole generation of guys that the bills have not come due yet in terms of what internet porn is doing to them. Thanks for everything you’re doing, Stephen.

Steve: Thank you. I appreciate that encouragement. Thanks for your time and sharing your advice with us. You enjoy the rest of your day. See you, Tom.

Tom: You too. Absolutely. Blessings.

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