My Story – Hope For The Sin-Stuck
There’s a reason that “purity training” is so important to me as a pastor. Early in my marriage (Janis and I now have 34 years logged in the books) I took a deep dumpster dive into the porn swamp.
Newfound access to cable TV and the shiny wonders of the internet, spiced up with a little marriage pain, and my foolish, sinful heart was overwhelmed. I compare it to getting taught in a riptide. At first I had no clue of the danger I was in. There I was, confident I could return to shore any time I wanted. But once I tried, I was in over my head.
I was sin-stuck.
If you’ve ever been stuck in a sin, you know that it sucks being stuck.
You wake up in the morning, and It is there handing you your coffee. You can’t even finish shaving, and your mind is already thinking about It. And no matter how resolved you feel right now to do without It, It will have its way with you, sooner probably than later.
It’s worse yet if you claim to be a Christian. You know the Bible verses promising you victory and new life. And they mock you. Going to church becomes an exercise in futility. If you don’t pin a smile on your face, you really don’t belong there. Think about the people you would let down if they knew about It.
Here you are a teacher, an elder, a worship leader, and just look at you. Better to just play the game for the time being. Besides, there’s still time to stop this silly behavior, and once you do, everything will be alright. No harm, no foul (and no shame or scandal, either. Whew!)
But there’s a tiny part of your soul that knows better. That’s screaming at you, “You’re stuck, you idiot!” And there’s another part of your soul that also knows why you’re stuck. It’s not just a sickness, as people like to say. You didn’t catch this in an elevator. You signed up for it. Early on, you made choices. You saw the ice patch coming. You saw the wreckage on the roadside of those who went before you. There were ways around it. But you hit the gas pedal anyway.
In our upcoming Training For Godliness Purity Summit, I’m going to share with you how the Lord got me unstuck. There was something very specific and very strategic that Jesus did with me which rescued me from the “miry bog” I’d jumped into (as King David called it.)
Now not to worry if you’re not one of us ugly stucklings. This conference is for you. Sexual quicksand is all around us today, and if you’re not stuck (and thank God for that!) then you know someone who is (or will soon meet them). And you’ll need to know how best to help them.
This conference is about “training”, and I want to help prepare you to be a trainer of men. My burden is not just to apply bandaids to the great sin problems plaguing the Church today (did you know that more than 3/4s of those under 30 consume porn regularly? Personally, I think those numbers are low.)
My goal is to help the Christian businessman be able to go on his weekend business trip without worry of falling. And the Christian college student to be able to grow up in a world filled with technology and not let it call the shots, but he does. And the person struggling with their sexual identity – who grew up in a dysfunctional home, or was traumatized by some form of abuse – learn to live and love in the way God intended.
Take time to pray each day for this weekend. Pray for God’s protection for all the guys coming. Pray for God to nudge those still on the fence that they would come. Pray for the Spirit of Christ to meet with us in a powerful and encouraging way.
Serving with you,
Bear Clifton is a pastor, writer and screenwriter. In addition to this website, his blogs and devotionals can be enjoyed at his writing website: blclifton.com. Bear is the author of “Train Yourself To Be Godly: A 40 Day Journey Toward Sexual Wholeness”, “Ben-Hur: The Odyssey”, and “A Sparrow Could Fall”.