When I sat down to write this blog post, I asked God, “What are men struggling with and how can I encourage them in my post?” Every relationship a man is involved with will be impacted by one or more of these: Lust. Lies. Laziness. If you are reading this right now, male or female you know someone who has afflicted others due to their response of the flesh. Perhaps you yourself have personally been the afflicted. As a man makes his choices each day, those choices make their way into the lives of all he interacts with. My aim today is to expose these very real “fleshy” responses and provide you a different way to respond. A spirit filled, spirit led response. For the women reading this, you have men in your life that need to see this. Perhaps your husband, perhaps your son. Whomever it is, I know you do not want to see them continue fighting the flesh’s desire of Lust. Lies. Laziness.
When I asked God, “What are all men struggling with?” The first thing which entered my mind was lust. So I looked that up in the dictionary, which defined it as an "intense or unrestrained sexual craving" or "an overwhelming desire or craving." I thought for a minute and said to myself, hold up. I have overwhelming desires for ice cream, seriously. So is that too lust? I believe yes. Lust in the simplest of terms is an action sought after to please oneself. For me ice cream helps me at times to relieve self-doubt or stress. The worst part is many people (I know I use to) believe, what I am doing, does not hurt anyone else, just me. The problem with this way of thinking is we allow these desires to fill our heart and mind without caring who or what could be hurt as an outcome of our actions. We just want what we want NOW. Men, believe me, I have personally been impacted by how my selfish actions of lust hurt my loved ones. I have seen grown men weep in men’s ministry, small groups, and at coffee shops as they pour out their heart and confess these selfish actions. Yes, pornography is the main thing we think of when we surface the word lust in a conversation. But if you are putting anything (money, food, possessions, etc.) ahead of God and your family, you are lusting for it. So what do we do about it?
Draw a Line, Change your Course, Turn to God
You are not in this battle alone. Do not be discouraged. Never give up. Yes, lust is hard to resist. It is a struggle. Remember, “We can do allow things through Him who gives us strength,” Philippians 4:13. I could say a lot of different things about overcoming lust, but I won’t. Instead, I will say Draw the Line. Decide right now that you do not want this in your life and are choosing from this point forward to take action. What action? Change your Course. When your mind leads you down one path, turn it to God. Ask God as David did in Psalm 19:14. You will find that when the desire of your heart moves from what YOU get to what you can GIVE others; you will destroy the power lust has over you.
I could probably write for the next two years on the battle of the mind. I have spent the last 7 years being beat up, growing, and overcoming LIES.
I have a friend who battles the lies of the mind in a very real and intense way. I do not know all the fibers of his past that have contributed to this way of thinking. I do however know the one that breaks my heart the most and it is paralyzing him and preventing him from experiencing God’s love and therefore transformational change. Grace. More importantly his refusal to see it. He genuinely does not believe he deserves to be forgiven. He believes the church judges him, hates him, and will never forgive him. Forgive him for what? Being human. For being broken and not knowing what to do about it. This week I asked him to come to church and sit with my family. At the time of writing this, no response. I am praying and trusting God.
We are called, commanded, implored to take EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE. God knows our every battle. Darkness (of the mind) cannot exist in the presence of light. Condemnation cannot exist in the presence of grace. Lies cannot exist in the presence of truth. You need God and His Spirit to overcome lies. “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” – Colossians 3:2.
You got this, because He’s got you!
Complacency, Passivity, Mindless inactivity…. Laziness. American’s face this likely more than all other countries and the reason; comfort and convenience. As a coach and mentor I have realized the greatest challenge the young adults, the middle-aged men, and those retired face is the couch. Life is easy and we want it easier. ESPN, XBOX, BARS, BILLIARDS, and false BUSYNESS. I have been fooled by it, I have been comforted by it, and I have wasted life to it. “Rise up and shake off the rust,” says author Aaron Walker in his book View From The Top. This is what we must do if laziness has its hold on us. Pour your heart into the purpose God created you for. If you are an encourager, get out there and encourage. If you create, put that to work, growing His kingdom. Whatever your talent, (and yes, you have one) work as if you are working for God, not man. Colossians 3:23.
Lust. Lies. Laziness. all have to do with a focus on self. As a man of Humility, Integrity, Truth, Obedience, and Prayer, these three characters of the flesh have no place in your life. I once told a friend of mine who was struggling with lies, “You have the power to cast these from you. To do so, lock them up and throw away the key. But most importantly, stop visiting them in their prison. You are giving them power they don’t have and forgetting the Spirit you do have. A spirit of Power, Love, and Sound mind.”
In these two examples I provided today, what I hope you see is that these men had someone holding them accountable. Encouraging them, edifying them, and lifting them up. If you need someone to hold you accountable and encourage you (note: we all do) here are a few ways to get help:
- Speak to a leader at your church
- Get a mentor, life coach, or accountability partner
- Consider one of View From The Top’s groups:
- ISI – Iron Sharpens Iron Mastermind Team
- The Community – Community group full of resources
You are not alone. Allow Love to destroy Lust. Power to destroy Laziness. A Sound Mind to destroy Lies. Be Bold. Be Blessed. Be HITOP!
Make an Impact
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Until Next Time…
Chris Hewitt, HITOP Ministries WOE Writer