Keith Hughes | @keithhughes9
God gave me the grace to believe on Jesus as my Savior when I was around seven years old. Like most 7 year olds back then I didn’t have any known hang-ups. However, when I became an adolescent I found myself ensnared by pornography. I think the first time I was exposed to it was in the fifth grade. It wasn’t an automatic addiction but it began the process of warping my mind.
Sometime later after I learned what masturbation was, pornography became the vehicle I used to fulfill what I believed to be my biggest need. Maybe it goes without saying but I wasn’t involved in church at all and definitely didn’t pray or read my Bible. So when I was promised to have my vile passions fulfilled I had no support to lean on to say no.
When I was getting ready to turn sixteen I made a deal with God. The deal was if I he didn’t let me die in a car accident then I would drive myself to church every Sunday morning. It was a deal He couldn’t pass up (joking). But I did attend church every Sunday morning. I even went to Sunday school once a year for a few years -- only because the third day of the NFL draft started at eleven A.M. and I would skip the main service so I could go home and watch it.
However, during this time God began to speak to my sin, not just porn.
I was living a double life. One life was seeking sin and the other was seeking God. I know these do not belong together so I had a choice to make. Was I going to be me or someone else? Since I had already become new creation by God’s grace several years before I decided to be me.
I wish I could say that it was an overnight success but it wasn’t. I prayed to God constantly to rid my mind of those lustful thoughts and made promises over and over to him that I would stop, hoping that would make me more likely to do so. But every time the temptation came upon me I choose to indulge in it rather than run as far away as possible.
Around this time I was being convicted about reading the entire Bible. I hated reading and so I was resistant but began to dabble in reading little by little. But as I began to poor God's word into my heart God was able to use that to give me something to lean on when I was faced with the lie of sin.
Eventually, a few years later, as I finally finished up the Bible, my addiction for porn was almost completely wiped out. At this time I would only fall to temptation very rarely. But now it was actually worse when I failed because I understood so much more about God's love and His promises to give joy in holy living. But our God is a God of love and grace even though I deserved a harsh punishment for these sins He saw me through the struggle.
I can’t say I’m 100% healed of the affects this time of my life had on me. I can’t say that I still don’t have the rouge thought that will come upon me to go back to it. But I can say that God has forgiven me of my sin and he has helped me almost completely get out of something that easily could have been a lifetime addiction and ruined my life. I don’t think him enough for that; actually I don’t think I ever have till just now.
We all at one time or another were lost sheep and Jesus came and found us brought us into His flock. And some of us after being in this flock have wondered off on our own path only to become weak, sick, and broken. Even though we may think we have been disqualified from God's affection, Jesus will leave His flock to come and find you and place you on His shoulders and carry you home. I got this image as I listened to For King and Country’s song "Shoulders" this past weekend, and that's how I want to end my story.
Keith Hughes is the adopted child on the one true King. The husband of a loving wife and the father of two precious girls. He enjoys being able to help people with their spiritual questions, appreciates clever humor, and can be extremely competitive. Feel free to contact him at email@example.com or on twitter at @KeithHughes9.
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