By Charlie Thomas, @MBC Arlington Leader
We’ve all done what David did, and, unfortunately, it’s not defeating Goliath. So, what have we done? At the 2014 MBC Men’s Conference, speaker Jonathan “JP” Pokluda challenged us by bringing to life the greatest triumph and the greatest tragedy of David’s life: Victory over Goliath and his fall with Bathsheba. While David’s sin with Bathsheba was certainly egregious, Christ tells us, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart,” Matthew 5:28.
As I sat in the conference listening to JP talk about David’s fall and read that verse, my stomach churned at the thought of cheating on my wife of two months. But the stark reality is that for any of us—single or married—who have ever allowed our eyes and minds to wander in lust, we have committed adultery in our hearts.When we allow God to define sin, we realize that we are far more broken that we ever dared to imagine.
Before I trusted Christ three years ago, I recall thinking it was absurd that “lust” could be equal to “adultery.” At that time, I believed our cultural norms regarding manhood and sex, but the Christianity found in the Bible and explained at the conference runs counter to our culture on these topics. This is particularly evident in how we find our identity and develop relationships with others.
As Christian men, our identities are to be solely found in Christ, not in any achievements, successes or self-gratification.This is really a freeing concept because we don’t have to meet the cultural standards of salary, sex and supremacy for our manhood. Rather, manhood is marked by faith, humility and sexual purity as an act of worship and thankfulness to God (among other characteristics). While true, it’s very difficult to do on our own.
That’s why we have to be honest with other guys and develop relationships predicated on the principles in the Bible. I’ve benefitted from these deep friendships with three men, in which we were honest with each other about our struggles, studied together, and held each other accountable. However, in life’s transitions, we gradually moved to different cities, committed to different churches, and fell out of our regular conversations.
David’s faithfulness and reliance on God earlier in life did not protect him from future temptations and mistakes of shirking responsibility and adultery. Why should I expect such protection, having the same sinful nature as David, but with less wisdom, faith and discipline? Attending the conference with several other men from MBC Arlington helped knock down some of those prideful barriers and reawakened my need for honest, accountable relationships to fight for purity.
What about you? The stakes are high; so let’s fight together as men pursuing the honor of Christ!