There he was, looking around the room thinking, “Is this for real?” (or MAYBE he was even thinking WTF). Henry, a new college student had shown up to a bible study of his peers for the first time, hoping to find accountability, encouragement, and friendship as a fellow Christian. As he listened to the conversations for only minutes, his mind was already made up that this group wasn’t going to be for him. He could tell right away this was a group of “poster boy” Christian boys leaving him feeling like a milk bucket under a bull. It wasn’t that Henry was looking for some new friends to indulge in sin with. He was looking to actually do a little more avoiding of it and thought some regular Christian fellowship would help. A starting point for this fellowship, however, would be the very opportunity to share his own personal struggles; but this group didn’t seem to be the time nor the place for that type of sharing. These fellas were too busy presenting themselves as above reproach, self-sufficient, without blemish, Clark Kent, He-Man, “Ken doll” Christians.
That’s why when Henry showed up to my young dudes/college age bible study years later, he was quiet, stunned, wide-eyed and rejoicing inside. Here’s what he was in the midst of:
Dudes that were his age, dudes that wanted like anything to serve Jesus, but dudes that knew the first step was NOT to make themselves look good. In this group, most of the time was intentionally spent talking about sexual purity, which mainly included avoiding sexual lust, shunning porn, and honoring all women as more than bodies to be looked at and touched.
In this group, here’s what these guys were willing to do:
1. delight in weakness, remembering that this is the place where Jesus’ strength makes them perfect, like Paul does here.
2. see themselves as scum saved by grace, like this dude here.
3. Walk in the light and admit sin like John says right here.
My new friend Henry couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Later, he expressed how different the group was than anything he had ever experienced. “These guys are excited about Jesus and yet weren’t afraid of expressing in detail their failures.” The question that bugs me literally to death (I’m writing this from heaven) is “why isn’t this sort of sharing amongst Christians the norm?”
Matt Responds with (5) Questions with one rule: Be loving.
1. Do you believe that withholding truth is a form of lying?
2. You are sinful more than you admit. What do you hope to gain from your withholding of truth? Or more, what are you afraid you will lose?
3. What do you think is the BEST thing about Jesus? Dying for my sins is my favorite.
4. What brings him more glory, your strength or his?
5. I know you think that you are bragging for or in Him, not yourself. Could you be wrong about that? Could it be that you actually are a little biased and have that twisted, while being partially deceived? A way to test that is to really chek your reaction when hearing another confess a particularly disgusting sin, like having sex with a prostitute or cheating on their husband. When you hear this, do you EVER feel a little superior? Are you ever relieved when you hear it, relieved you are not that way? Do you feel anything other than grief for them? Do you look and pray directly to Jesus in gratitude that THEY ARE forgiven and and Jesus is THEIR substitute?
Toby Responds with (5) Questions (No Rules):
1. You definitely look at porn. You look at women for purely sexual purposes. You are lying right now because you are scared or even worse, more concerned about what these other liars are omitting right now. Why? Are the thoughts of man more important than Jesus’ thoughts?
2. Why would you withhold bringing glory to Jesus? Just because you’re a christian doesn’t mean He’s done with you. He’s redeeming us all right now because he loves us. Why would you not allow the Holy Spirit that is convicting you right now, to also guide and compel you to talk about embarrassing or ugly sins?
3. Do you refrain from transparency about your sexual sins like sex outside of marriage, pornography and lust because you don’t want to stop? If you open yourself up, you cease to get sex your way. You’d also have to actually submit to the God you talk so fondly of in front of us all.
4. Why do you talk about things like “working on spending more time with the family” or “working on handling stress” but not working on your issues with impurity? Are you only gonna talk about the damn sins that make you look like a great guy with tough but easy sins, like, “Oh I sometimes get mad at my mean boss.” How about, “I like it when my wife and kids go to sleep and I get a couple of hours in on the xxx sites and masturbate.”
5. Do you doubt that you can be freed from this? Is God not powerful enough to walk beside you and compel you to change your routines?
What do you think?
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