Anonymous: The Big Bad World

Posted by in Brotherhood,Temptation | December 3, 2013


Editor’s Note: This anonymous post gives us great pride. Not only does it speak to the heart of the temptations many of our brothers face, but it speaks to the roots in loneliness and the desire for acceptance and the lies being perpetuated. It also speaks about the triumph of brotherhood and mentoring (we call it brothering), and the value of IRON and FIRE. Thanks for the brother who shared his story, albeit anonymously; we can’t thank you enough for your honesty and advice!

My story starts like a lot of other people’s story. I went to a Christian elementary and middle school and was raised in a Christian household. I was drilled on all the facts and what I was supposed to believe. I accepted Jesus into my heart at a young age and always knew what I believed, but didn’t really walk the walk. I went through public high school pretty much unscathed by the big bad world, mostly due to the fact that I was so afraid of getting in trouble with my parents and hurting my relationship with them. Once I went off to college, my world was flipped upside down. It was the loneliest year of my life. I literally didn’t have any friends, regardless of my attempts to meet new people. I thought something was wrong with me. I was lonelier that I had ever felt and for the first time my mind was consumed with thoughts of how to fit in.

It wasn’t until the end of my freshman year that I reconnected with an old friend from high school. He invited me to his apartment where I met his roommates. It wasn’t 10 minutes into my visit that I was smoking weed, getting high for my first time.

I ended up moving in with those guys, taking over my friend’s rent when he moved out of the apartment, and lived there for the next two years. It was all downhill from there. I found out real quick that I was not a drinker. It really just made me feel gross. This was really hard because both of my roommates drank to get drunk almost every night of the week and were constantly trying to pressure me into drinking. I felt like I needed to find my way to fit in; and I did this by smoking. I started out smoking weed here and there whenever someone offered it to me; but then it turned into me spending my own money on it. Fast-forward almost 2 years of living this sin. My parents literally didn’t have a clue I smoked; and I was confident that I would never get caught. For some reason (the Lord), at the end of my junior year, I felt like I wanted to tell my parents I smoked. I struggled with this thought for a few months until one late night while talking to my mom, I just told her. I was tired of living the lie. This was the start of a battle between me, the Lord, and the Devil.

I was completely brain washed. I believed that weed was all natural and therefore okay. I looked everywhere to find an answer that told me it was okay. I even went to the bible for an answer. This is where the Devil was really trying to get me. I read verses like,

Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth. And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. Genesis 1:29-31

I thought, “Yes! I have justification that this is okay for me to do.” Unfortunately, there was a verse I found that I could not shake. It was,

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

This got me thinking; but not enough to make me want to quit.

My mom had told me to watch these videos on IRON and FIRE’s blog. I told her I would, with no intention of actually watching them. The next day I’m scrolling down my newsfeed on Facebook and there is Andrew Collins’ video. I watch his video, then the next, and before I know it, I had watched all six videos. After watching all the videos, I realized all the lies I was telling myself were not true. I was so brainwashed that I believed that everyone was doing it so that made it okay for me to do it. I felt like I was the only one out there that was trying to quit doing something that I really didn’t want to quit doing in the first place. It wasn’t until I decided to meet with Jeff that he totally opened my eyes to the sin that I was living within. He then invited me to be a part of IRON and FIRE.

Here I got to meet tons of guys. Some older and some younger, but we all had one thing in common. We were trying to make each other better by having fellowship together, spending time in the word, and praying together. IRON and FIRE has helped me to meet new friends that are Christians. When I first stopped smoking, one of my biggest fears was that I was going to be lonely again and boy was I wrong. In fact it was the complete opposite. I met new friends that were there to build me up and encourage me. I had really never experienced this type of friendship. This type of friend is called a brother.

The more time I put between that time of my life and now, the clearer it becomes of how I slipped into that life style. My biggest encouragement to someone reading this is: You need to have a reason to quit doing what you’re doing. Like I stated earlier, I didn’t really want to quit because I didn’t see the harm in it. I didn’t see how this was harming my relationship with the Lord and killing my potential to be all that I can be. It numbed my brain and helped me feel like I was “fitting in.” The first few weeks after quitting was the hardest because I had to quit using pure will power, instead of relying on the knowledge that it was sin. Once I believed that it was truly a sin and hindering my relationship with the Lord, I was able to lose the desire to smoke.

All in all, IRON and FIRE has been the biggest life-changer for me. It has helped me see who I really want to be and has refocused my life to the Lord. Now I’m not saying I’m perfect by any means, but I now have accountability and fellowship to help me work through my daily struggles and draw closer to the Lord.


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