What’re you looking at?

17 Mar

I listened to Steve Farrar on this through a student’s Facebook post. And I was completely convicted by his three reasons for how often people fall into sexual immorality (yes, the Biblical meaning of this word).

Before I go on, I have to say – I do not know Steve Farrar, and in fact, this is the first time I’ve heard of him. I am not surprised as his mission is to “raise up men to Biblical masculinity” (thanks, Google). Or in his own words his mission is ‘Don’t screw up’. And I also feel obliged to point that I still cringe at the words ‘Biblical masculinity’ as if God designed a set of codes for how manly or how womanly one can be. He made us man and woman. And that suffices for me. No trying to be…

In fact, Farrar was mainly talking to them. And it convicted me. For both the kind of temptation he was talking about, as well as the general moral shortcuts he referred to.

In a nutshell, he pointed out that the people in his experience who have ended up in this quagmire have been people who have fallen out of touch with the word of God. That’s number one. And the word of God is the Bible.

It’s been a while since my Bibles have fallen apart. I remember the first two – I was racked with guilt that I let the pages go that far… But I couldn’t imagine how not to. But now… my Bibles are pretty. It might have something to do with internet reading instead of print reading. True. But I suspect I can still do more about that.

And then number two. He said most of those men were liars. I think you can lie by omission too. And this kinda convicted me. It doesn’t start with a conscious decision to lie when you’re mid-life. Did I lie in school? No. But college – yes. In social circles – yes. Simple things.

Are you going to come see us like you promised? – No, sorry, I have unexpected work at my job. —> But I didn’t. What I had was a volatile situation with a friend.

Why are you walking this side of the library? (Catholic schools/colleges in India and irrational top-down discipline). Oh, sorry – I didn’t know I couldn’t. –> But I did.

And he brought that down to a lack of accountability. It’s easy to feel that you have the right to choose where to be, to choose what to do. But after a point, you don’t feel like you owe anyone anything even in your closest relationships. And your closest relationship is God. I used to tell myself for a long time that I would not do anything I couldn’t tell my parents about. I’m… 27. And I think I’m heading back to that rule or some semblance of it. (My parents are in a different country, and sometimes might not understand what I’m telling them. But at least I’m going to have to see myself able to tell.)

Number three was something I feel so strongly about with so many of my young-ish friends in leadership and myself. Counselling someone of the opposite sex on your own. I am a pretty blocked-up-heart person. You can’t touch me if God doesn’t do some touching of his own first. And I mean in the emotional sense. Yet I know and I can feel myself feeling this! When I am on my own with someone, and they happen to confess how they feel about their own relationships or they happen to talk about loneliness or they open up to me and look at me with something like hope in their eyes – look, that’s powerful. They’re looking at me like I’m bringing hope. And of course, I warm up to them. And it’s fairly certain they warm up to you too. Which is fine.

But I, me myself – the me unit is often alone too, cries over relationships too in joy or sadness, longs for some things too, misses home too, LOVES hope too. And you put that together, and you have yourself one pretty explosive pot.

I analyse these things – analyse my emotions, everyone else’s wonder why. And that’s why I said I could feel myself feeling… Part of the reason for this is an ongoing conversation with God. But what happens when I forget that conversation?

Steve Farrar had 4 practical suggestions – stay in the Word, stay close to a friend, stay away from the women you’re not married to (his choice of genders), and stay alert. Agreed.

But I have one suggestion. And I argue that it is just as practical. It is also the title of his sermon.

Fix your eyes on Jesus.



One Response to “What’re you looking at?”


  1. Whatever things are admirable « eccedominus - March 27, 2012

    […] have been hearing, reading and listening and writing on how many people within the church and the ministry fall into the worst kind of temptation. And I […]

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