Do We Cheer Or Condemn With Our Words And Actions?

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

There is this beautiful portrait of Christ’s forgiveness found in scripture that I want to discuss today. A picture of a young woman caught in sin. A picture of condemnation and grace that is still being painted today.

One day Jesus was in the temple teaching when all of a sudden a group of scribes and Pharisees bust in. They have with them a woman who was caught in the very act of adultery.

wp-image--1640750103

I see them throwing her down half-naked since she was caught in the act. Looking at Jesus they said that the law tells us that such a woman should be stoned. What do you say?

Jesus does the coolest thing ever. He just stoops down and starts writing in the dirt in from of him. Now, it doesn’t say what he wrote but I see him writing down the name of the man who was committing adultery too.

wp-image--1260405607

Since he didn’t answer them right away they kind of hound him for the answer. Finally he looks up and says this…He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

Jesus, then looks back down and starts writing in the dirt again. I think he was writing some sins down that the people had committed.

But anyway, after a bit all the scribes, Pharisees and the others, starting with the oldest to the youngest, left. One by one the rocks fell…but not on her…they fell to the ground because each and every one of them knew they had sinned.

After a while the only two left were Jesus and the woman, who I am sure was still was cowering in fear waiting for the stones to fall upon her.

But instead Jesus says to the woman “Where are your accusers? Hath no man condemned you?” She tentatively looks up and sees no one but Jesus and says “No man, Lord.” Jesus responds by saying “Neither do I, go and sin more.”

Jesus didn’t bring up her adultery. He didn’t bring up her past. He didn’t condemn her, for he did not come into the world to condemn it but rather that through him the world might be saved.

So where is the beauty in this picture? It is in the fact that Jesus did not condemn her. Jesus, holy and without sin said “Neither do I.”

wp-image--516847921

I wish we, as followers of Jesus, did not condemn people. But we do.

There can be many reasons for this too. We can see ourselves as the high and mighty, having it all together, like the Pharisees did.

For some, it could be that we see someone else’s sin as worse than ours. Yet, all sin is the same….sin.

For some it can be a way of controlling a person by always reminding them of their past.

Some of us actually condemn ourselves by our way of thinking. Especially in regards to self-worth.

I hear people say things like once an addict always as addict all the time. Or once a whore always a whore. Or here’s one even better…people don’t change. Really?!?

No!!! Addicts find deliverance from their addiction through the same grace that said “Neither do I.” That same grace that came to save the world says no, you are not a whore…you are a child of God, you are priceless and I love you. That amazing and wonderful grace does change people…from the inside out.

I believe that we, as a people, will always have a tainted picture of ourselves if we continue to allow the words and accusations of others to influence our view of ourselves. I know from my own experience. For I was the addict that Jesus came to save just like ha came to save the adulterous woman and everyone else. And I did change! But sometimes, I do allow my past shame and guilt to creep back in. Then Jesus lovingly reminds me who I am now.

He doesn’t bring up my past!

And as followers of Jesus we should not bring up the past of others either, but rather cheer them on in their journey.

 

I Just Write What God Places On My Heart

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

I know I don’t have the most popular blog.

I don’t get many views or comments.

I do not use eloquent words when I write. I can, I just choose not too. I also know that I repeat myself several times over the course of writing.

What started off as a means of sharing with others my recovery from porn addiction and my mistakes at being a husband and father has turned into a blog of thoughts God places upon my heart.

I write about many different topics.

I share my daily struggle at times. I share my thoughts on sex, marriage, recovery and life.

I don’t want to talk about porn all the time because that is not who I am anymore. I still have a calling to help others get freedom their addiction/struggle. That will never go away. So I will still write about it.

I’m not a marriage blogger, per se, as you can tell from my posts. Yet, I have written some posts on marriage because I believe in God’s design for marriage and what it represents.

I have written about sex because…well…I love sex. I love the intimacy of it, the way it makes me feel and what it represents. It is so much more than just a quick release of tension or procreation.

I have written posts about my children and how I pray that they become what God created them to be and not what I want them to be, much less society.

I share testimonies from other men and woman. Why? Because they offer hope to anyone no matter the struggle!

wp-image-757692228

I’m just me, I guess. Whatever God places on my heart for that day, moment or week is what I write about. I pray before I start writing and I pray before I post asking God to allow what I share to touch someone’s heart.

Occasionally I will get words of encouragement from readers and fellow bloggers. Sometimes people even like a post on my blog site or share it via social media to a friend. And for that I am thankful, honored and humbled.

Thank you, dear readers and friends for following along as I continue to write from my heart about God, marriage, struggles, recovery, life and yes…sex.

God Bless,
Stu

Free From The Guilt & Shame

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

You know what? The Bible tells us that we are to love others as we love ourselves. This has always bothered me for years, because I have I always felt I loved others. Yet, there are days I don’t even like myself.

Tonight, I found out the real reason.

Through an invite from a dear friend I went to a concert tonight. And what I am about to share with you, I haven’t even shared with the friend who invited me…yet.

Eddie James, who was in concert tonight, was on stage speaking and said something that just….well…shook me. He said that if you are still feeling shame from your past then you truly can’t love yourself. He had used that verse from Matthew as a reference.

wp-image-580453759

When I look into the mirror, though I am forgiven by God, I see a stranger. Not all the time…just sometimes. And on those occasions I see a fallen man. A man, who has done a bunch of stupid stuff he is not proud of. A man, who allowed himself to be put in situations he never dreamed he would be in. A man, who still feels shame and guilt for the things he has done or said.

I couldn’t love me for me because I couldn’t ever TRULY forgive myself.

But you know what? Tonight, I laid all that shame and guilt down. I lifted my hands in praise and just said take it! I don’t wait to carry it anymore.

I can truly say I am walking in freedom now and not just from porn and alcohol but from the chains I kept on myself.

You know what else? It feels so good.

wp-image--1919420201

Don’t Allow The C Word To Keep You From Your Potential

Tags

, , , , ,

Let me just go ahead and get this out in the open…..I LOVE my son!

Brandon has been going to Celebrate Recovery with me a little here lately and the impact he has inadvertently made on some of the adults has made me so proud. His first night with me had me in tears. You can read about that experience HERE.

One of the other nights he came was just…another wow moment.

I knew he was playing basketball with the other kids because I saw him. What I didn’t know, until a little later, was that he had asked a young lady to come shoot the ball with him.

Well after shooting the ball, the young lady comes up to me and tells me that Brandon had asked her to come play and that she had said no because she can’t make the basket.

wp-image-1302879286

Well….Brandon had told her not to say the C word and come on. So she did shoot the basket and guess what? She made it.

She then shared with me that she took Brandon back to the worship area with her and got a blue chip with the promise of not saying the C word anymore.

Brandon was so excited for her! He was like see I told you.

I don’t know how it has been for you in the past or even today but for me I used the phrase I can’t a lot. There’s a line in the movie Home Run where the main character cries out saying “I can’t stop.”

There was a time in my life if you had told me I needed to quit watching porn, my answer would have no I can’t. I’ve tried and I just can’t stop. But you know what? I can and I did!

There have been so many I can’t moments in my life. It would take years to tell

One of them was being a dad. I was never truly shown how. But again I can and I have, despite what I would call failures on my part. And I will continue in this journey of dadhood because it is my calling.

But enough of me…

What about you? How many times do you use the C word in your life? Ponder on that for a moment or two.

Have you thought of writing them down? May be a good idea and then on the next page, opposite the I can’t statement page, write this verse down. Make it big. Highlight it! Color it with crayons if you want to.

Are you ready for the verse? Good.

Here ya go:

wp-image--977774985

Such a powerful verse! One that lets you say Yes, I can!

Tag-Teaming The Enemy

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Imagine this…four guys…one ring…two on a team with one starting the match for each side. The bell rings and there they go, circling each other, sizing their opponent up and then wham!…physical contact to inflict pain..to inflict damage.

This pain and damage is meant to make their opponent surrender the match while the whole time their partner is in the corner leaning over yelling tag me. If the one in the ring has not had too much pain or damage inflicted on them they will make it to the corner and tag his partner.

The partner jumps over the ropes and commences to beat the other guy up, as he is tired from the fight or caught off guard because he thought he had won and turned his back. It usually goes back and forth for a while till one team wins the match by pinning the opponent to the mat for the 3 count.

This parallels our life so well. We are in a wrestling tag team match daily as believers in Christ.

wp-image--2100433488

Here’s the scene I want you to envision:

You are in the ring with your enemy, this big ole demon. It’s a surprise tag team match for you do not know who his partner until he shows up. The demon knows your partner and keeps a watchful eye in the corner.

So here we go….

That ole demon is in the middle of the ring sizing you up trying to find that one weakness that he can use to inflict pain and damage.

He sees it and rushes in to make his move. It’s your mind, because you didn’t come prepared for battle in your mind. So he starts taunting you saying things like you’re no good, your worthless, and dude there is no way you can win this fight.

You, not being prepared mentally, fall for these words and lose hope in the match a little. He sees that the taunting has hurt you a little so he goes in for the loins. The loin is the part of your back from your lower rib to your hip.

One good sucker punch to the loins and he sees you reel in pain and trip. His partner, who just showed up, is just itching to finish you off.

Once your partner sees who the foe is he starts yelling Tag me! Tag me! I know this enemy, I know his weakness!

While you are trying to listen to your partner, your ole demon foe just sucker punched you, but he miscalculated. He brought you down, yes, not on your back as he had hoped but down to your knees…in the corner.

You reach up and tag your partner just as the ole demon runs to his corner and tags his, for he saw you tag yours. But just as he tags his partner; your partner gives him a swift kick and out the ring he goes. Your still down on your knees from the sucker punch. And that is exactly where your partner needs you to be..on your knees.

You see, your partner in this match is the Holy Spirit. And He gets his strength from you being on your knees.

The ole demon’s partner turns out to be the devil himself. He got hit by the Holy Spirit the moment he entered the ring. But he’s not down..it takes a lot to take down the devil. But that is why the Holy Spirit said Tag me! I know his weakness.

For every word the devil yells at you, the Holy Spirit is speaking the Word of God against him. He reels, for the devil does not like the Word. The devil leaves the ring shouting this is not over yet!!

Now these type of wrestling matches can go for hours, days or even years sometimes but the thing is this, the victory was won before you even entered the ring and both parties know it.

Praise God that through the Holy Spirit and the spoken Word you can have victory in this match! But you must do your part and be prepared!

Here are two verses that will help you in your preparation for the matches ahead.

Ephesians 6:11

wp-image--264817123

2 Timothy 2:15 (Mind preparation for the match)

It’s time to win these matches and get the 3 count on the enemy and get victory. Once you can victory then when a friend is in need you can say Tag Me! I know his weakness! Then fight alongside your brother.