Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)
No one can deny that we live in a very sensual, sex-saturated world. Visual images abound. Our computers and TV bring them right into the privacy of our home, billboards litter the highway and magazine stands at the grocery checkout make it almost impossible to escape. Even in ministry the dress code and activity of some to whom we minister to can be at the least a distraction and often a great temptation. Being in the ministry doesn’t make one immune to sexual temptations – look at how many great Christian men fall. It’s one of the enemy’s best tools to destroy those who would serve God. The danger is always there, but it gets even greater when we struggle with our spouse or the ministry isn’t going well. It becomes an escape, a drug of choice, a way of anesthetizing ourselves against pain while substituting the hurt with “pleasure.” But it’s like drinking salt water because it doesn’t satisfy and ultimately makes the emptiness worse.
The solution starts with a strong, daily, growing relationship with Jesus. Connecting with Him every day is a must. Every thought must be brought under control (2 Corinthians 10:5). The temptation of what pops into our mind isn’t sin, but we are responsible for what we do with it. We can’t let it stay or entertain it for even a moment, or it will quickly take root and grow.
A strong relationship with our mate is also essential. Having an accountability partner is vital as well. We all need someone who will ask the tough questions in love, who will be there to challenge and help. Many don’t get serious about this until it is too late. Don’t wait until damage is done to your ministry and marriage before getting serious about this subtle but deadly sin!
2 Timothy 2:22, “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.”
Job 31:1, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.”
Matthew 5:28, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
2 Corinthians 10:5, “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
- If your private thoughts were made public for all to see, which would be most embarrassing to you?
- When is lust the greatest temptation to you? What is your plan to be victorious at those times?
- Who is your accountability partner, to ask the tough questions in love? If you don’t have one, who can you talk to today to become one who is not your spouse?
Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!
Posted on May 5, 2008