As we welcome in 2016 I find myself, like most people, reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the coming year. What new things are in store for me, my family, and my ministry? What does God have planned? It’s an exciting time to reboot and look to the future with anticipation and optimism. Every new year is a chance to correct the wrongs, build on the rights and move towards the ultimate goal of God’s will in your life.
Throughout the past year, you may have made mistakes or not lived your life the way you know you should. Maybe you desire to live a life of integrity and lead your family the way God intended but you can’t seem to break the addictions and thought processes that have plagued your mind for years. If that’s the case then I have some awesome news! This is your chance to start over. I have a few simple steps to get on track for the new year and start living a life of purity and being the man that you were destined to be. As you read over these I encourage you to share your thoughts and ideas on starting the new year off right!
The first step to getting your life on track is to seek purity. Purity comes first and foremost by confessing your sins. The Bible says in I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” He is the only one that can give us the gift of purity. The great thing about God’s Grace is that purity isn’t exclusive to those who have never made any major mistakes. All we have to do is honestly confront the mistakes we’ve made and confess them.
Now for the hard part … If you’re married or in a committed relationship, the next step is to confess your sins to your significant other. The Bible says in Proverbs 28:13 “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Even if we’ve confessed our sins to God, we must not conceal our sins from the person we share our lives with. Hidden sin keeps us in the darkness of past mistakes and the only way to find freedom from that is to bring those things to the light. Darkness cannot survive in the light!
Once we’ve confessed our sins, we must find someone in our lives that will hold us accountable to stay on track. Accountability is the cornerstone of sexual purity and Godly male leadership. James 5:16 says “ Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.“ We’re fooling ourselves if we think we can walk this path alone and be successful. Everybody benefits from having a strong, honest person in their lives holding them responsible for the decisions they make.
Accountability partners should have your best interest in mind and not be afraid to tell you like it is. Don’t pick an accountability partner that you can easily manipulate. The point of having someone in your life like this is to keep you on track. They’re not doing you any good if they let you control the flow of communication.
Having someone in your life that cares enough to check in and tell you like it is, is an extremely valuable part of living out a life of purity and integrity.
Start The Day Off Right
The way we begin our day has an immeasurable impact on the way we think, feel and act throughout the entire day. Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first his kingdom and righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” The most important thing we can do in our lives is seek God first. That means before any of the day’s distractions get in the way and steal your peace, go to the one who gives you peace.
Over a year ago I began waking up at 5:00am to make sure I was making time for God first thing. I wake up every morning and read my Bible and journal. Then I pray to set my mind right. There is always a noticeable difference in my day when I’m not able to start my day off this way.
What are the things in your everyday life that bring you back to a place of impurity? What causes your mind to race with unclean thoughts? What stands in your way of living a life of purity?
First, you must recognize those things and cut them out of your life. The process of recognizing those things begins with an honest look at yourself and your surroundings. Set aside your selfish desires and focus on the big picture … becoming the man that God has called you to be by living a life of purity and integrity.
As I began down the path of sexual purity, I had to honestly assess a lot of things in my life and realize what I needed to cut out. I stopped watching TV and only occasionally watched movies. When I watch a movie I always check the Parents Guide on IMDB to make sure I know exactly what is going to be in the movie. Equipping myself with this knowledge prevents me from accidentally seeing something I shouldn’t and potentially opening the door for impure thoughts.
These are just a couple of the countless measures I put in place to protect my purity. There are many things that could possibly trip us up and I encourage you to think about what those things are and eliminate them. We need to set ourselves up for success!
This one may seem a little out of place in this post but I can assure you that serving others is a necessary part of getting your life on track. After June 2nd (the day I confessed to my wife about my pornography addiction and began living a life of purity) I started serving at my church outreach events. To be honest, I started because I wanted to impress my wife who wanted nothing to do with me, but something amazing happened. I began to see the power of helping others and serving a purpose that’s greater than myself.
Lust, addiction, pornography, and many of the issues that plague men are all 100% self-serving and centered around “self”. Serving something other than yourself helps to change your perspective and give you a purpose far greater than any temporary indulgence could ever provide.
As we begin 2016, I encourage you to seek after God’s will in your life. If you’re unsure about all this sexual purity stuff, do some research. A great place to start is subscribing to StopLookingAtMyWife.com and getting regular updates and resources to help you along this journey. My prayer is that you will run after a life of integrity and be the leader in your home, work, school or church that God intended you to be.