My testimony is a regular one for people who grew up in church. My
parents are both Christians, and they brought me to church all the
time. I have absolutely no excuse to miss, and my Sunday school
teachers knew that. I went to two Christian schools from kindergarten
through ninth grade. I accepted Jesus at the age of five, but I
never really let Him take control of my life until I was in the youth
group at my church. I went on a yearly mission trips to different
cities throughout the United States and proclaimed the gospel. I was
very active in the youth group. I never missed a Sunday, but I was
still very empty inside. I do not doubt my salvation, I just knew
that I had never given Christ total control in my life. It's like I
gave Him a seat in the corner of my heart, and I controlled the
other 90% of me.
I never did speak curse words except when I was alone. I did think
them a lot, though. Satan had won me over, and I was a casual Christian.
I was a Christian just through saying the word. I acted happy at church,
but I was sad on the inside. I have never told anyone this, so I am
carefully wording this. I got involved in pornography when I was in
eighth grade at a Christian school. I realized that I could simply
check it out from the local library. It started as a curiosity then
became an obsession. While in ninth grade, my parents purchased a
computer and subscribed to the internet. Even before the computer
was in our house, I knew what I wanted to do with it. Of course, I
began looking up pornography websites and it became an addiction. I
would sleep during the day and stay up all night checking out
pornography, always getting deeper into it. My family caught me
several times, and my parents grounded me from the computer several
times, but they would forget about it and forget to watch me just
long enough for me to get into it again. I tried to convince myself
for a while that it didn't affect me, but I knew my spiritual life
was suffering. I stopped going on youth events. I went to church
only on Sunday mornings. I saw women in a different, perverted,
lustful view. I couldn't stop thinking about it. I did go on a
mission trip again that year. I was pornography-free for about
two weeks, but I would get back into it immediately afterwards.
The worst think about all this is that no one at my church really
knew about it. I was very good at hiding the truth. I remember all
my feelings about it. My youth pastor had an idea that I was into
stuff that I shouldn't have been, but he didn't really know the half
of it. He brought me out for a soda, and the palms of my hands were
sweating a lot. I just wouldn't speak to him. My personal time
with God suffered and so did my grades. In my sophomore year, I
began going to a public school, and I stopped looking at the
pornography for a while. Whenever anyone asked me about stuff like
that, I would just lie to them and switch subjects. God then blessed
me with a job I was remained pornography-free only because my job,
not because I had wanted too. God works in mysterious ways.
When I lost my job last February, I dove right back into pornography.
It was the only sin I had had, but it took control of me. I could
no longer do the things I wanted to. I even quit socializing with
my friends because I had made pornography my only friend. Any time
I could get alone at home was good for me. Then a friend confronted
me about it at a Bible study, and I listened intently as he talked
about how he had been into pornography and God had changed him. I
didn't immediately accept his message. I still did my own thing,
but God was still working in me. I am now 100% pornography-free by
choice and by the grace of God. I went on a mission trip last week,
and God broke my heart and reminded me about Jesus' death on the cross.
I no longer have a will to look at pornography. I do still struggle
with it when I come across Email or images of scantily-clad women,
but God has pushed it away from me. He broke the cycle of sin in my
life. Now I await my biggest challenge yet: college. God has already
done some wonderful things for me. He put me in a nice dorm with a
private bathroom and shower. He gave me the money I needed, and I
didn't even have to search. He sent me a Christian room mate.
I hope that you have learned from my experience with pornography.
I had listened to several people who have talked about it, but this
is my testimony: it's personal. This is what I have had to go through
to break free of that sin.
By the way, I titled this 'Brought Out of the Mud' because an
evangelist, Steve Roloff, used to always use the word mud as an
analogy for sin. I had heard this sermon twice, and every time it
was just as wonderful. This is personal to me because God brought
me out of the mud of pornography.