It had been a bad day. A hard day. The sort of day when it felt like nothing was going right, and I should just go back to bed and start again. The details of the day were trivial and now forgotten, but I remember how I felt. I was frustrated by my sin, hurt by the sin of others, weary of the brokenness of this fallen world. But over the noise of my angry thoughts, lyrics from the last hymn from church the previous Sunday rang out in my head:
Pornography, masturbation, sexual fantasy, lustful thoughts... They’re just men’s issues, aren’t they? The ways in which women struggle may often be subtly different to our male counterparts, but the fundamental issues of our sinful hearts seeking fulfilment in the wrong places are just the same.
The word holiness can give rise to thoughts of legalism. Or it can bring to mind the image of someone who is dower and puritanical - isn’t it a shame that the puritans didn’t smile for their portraits?! For example, when I was volunteering on the TFT speaking team a few years ago, I remember one of my colleagues being called a Pharisee - unfairly, I should stress! Rightly teaching what God’s Word says on ethics and godly behaviour can so easily cause this reaction.
David Bennett describes his life both before and after he became a Christian. He was attracted to other boys from the age of 14, and so had issues with Christianity because he felt if he was to become a Christian he couldn’t act on his romantic inclinations. He became a gay activist in Australia in support of gay marriage. Despite all this, David writes, “Jesus did not stay tidily out of my life.”
How long is it since you were disappointed in something, somebody or even yourself? Perhaps you are experiencing disappointment at this time. Disappointment ranges from serious life changing situations to minor ones such as the disappointment with my latest photo, which makes me look like an ageing fugitive from the law!
This autobiography is a deeply personal and honest picture of a man who wants to live for and find fulfilment in Christ, read, understand and obey Scripture, seek his calling in the church and pursue a life of celibacy by taking up his cross.