This is the second installment in a series called “Lead Better…” It focuses on some often overlooked, but incredibly important, practices for better leadership. You can find part one on physical health here.
Many pastors are struggling with porn. Are you?
Nothing will gut your leadership more quickly than habitual and enslaving sin, especially sexual sin. If you want to lead better, you need to get pure.
Not only does sexual sin hamper our relationship with God, but the subsequent guilt and shame damage our leadership. Satan wants pastors sitting on the sidelines, feeling guilty and totally inadequate to lead God’s people. Satan wants shame to dampen a leader’s courage and boldness for the gospel.
Are you tired of feeling unworthy to be a pastor?
Lead Better: Get Pure
Today is the day to beginning fighting for habitual purity. It’s possible to win this fight: God promises us victory (1 Corinthians 10:13). The chains of sexual impurity can be broken. A pure life begins with the gospel of Jesus Christ. You need to know how much God loves you; where sin increases, God’s grace increases all the more (Romans 5:20).
Think about the story when Peter sees Jesus walking on the water and he too begins walking on the sea (Matthew 14:22-33). When Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and began to sink, Jesus said, “Do a few laps around the boat first!” No. Jesus didn’t say that at all. Jesus merely reached down into the water and pulled him up.
He does that for you too. You don’t need swim laps after sexual failure and make it up to Jesus. You need to let Jesus rescue you.
The gospel changes our heart, rules don’t. But wise rules can be helpful roadblocks to giving into sin. Let’s be honest: sexual desire can lead us to irrationality. Sometimes we just need a delaying tactic so we can come to our senses and run to the gospel.
Here are a few wise practices in the fight for purity:
1. Downgrade your phone
You don’t need a smartphone. You really don’t. Sure, they are powerful productivity tools. But at what cost? Is it worth it to send emails on your off-hours if you use it to look at porn? Follow Jesus’ advice and go radical with sinful stumbling blocks: “If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to go into hell” (Matthew 5:30).
2. Get accountability/filtering software
Whenever you connect to the internet, it’s like diving into shark-infested water: you may come across something which can eat you alive. You need protection. There are many solid Christian services which provide both accountability and filtering for your computer, tablet, and phone:
Known primarily for “accountability,” Covenant Eyes tracks the sites you visit and emails them to a trusted accountability partner. Cost: $10.99/mo.
X3 Watch is very similar to Covenant Eyes in that it provides “accountability” for your online and mobile activity. It is also significantly cheaper with their basic plan being roughly $2.00/mo.
Clean Router works to block porn even before it gets through to your devices in your home. Cost: $12.99/mo.
3. Memorize Romans 6
No software compares to filling your mind with Scripture to ward off feelings of lust. Romans 6 is an especially powerful passage of Scripture as it clearly anchors our fight against sin in our identity in Christ (Romans 6:1-3). We don’t ever have to go back to the old way again: We have died with Christ. We can live in habitual purity: we too have been raised to walk in new life (Romans 6:4). You need more than John 3:16 and the Great Commission in your mind to fight sin. Work on memorizing Romans 6.
4. Get Help
You need to confess your sins to someone: “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed” (James 4:16). If you can’t find someone trusted in your church to open up to about your impurity, consider going to a Christian counselor in your area. Since I am passionate about helping other pastors and leaders fight for purity, you can also reach out to me confidentially at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The battle for purity is not easy. In fact, it’s downright hard. But it’s worth it. Your leadership depends on it.
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