By Phil Callaway
Lust: It’s one of the reasons I almost didn’t write my latest book. When asked to keep a diary of my attempt to live without telling a lie for an entire year for the book To Be Perfectly Honest, I knew I couldn’t do so without confessing that I’m still capable of lust. I know what you’re thinking. Are you kidding? At your age? You’re 50. Man, you have one foot in the grave and the other on a skateboard.
I understand. When I was younger, I thought, If I live to be 40, then this lust thing will vanish and I can live in complete victory like all these old geezers around here.
When I was well past 40, a romance novelist whom I had met at a writer’s conference sought me out and began pursuing me, a married man. Having a face for radio, I wasn’t prepared for this. Unwisely we became friends on a social networking site, and the next thing I knew, she wanted to get together.
I sat down and wrote out a list titled “Benefits of an Affair.” I could think of only one: “extreme temporary pleasure.” Then I wrote “What I’d Forfeit If I Had an Affair.” That list was longer. “Money. Peace. Joy. Body parts. Really good home-cooked meals every day. Pleasure without guilt. My wife’s trust. My trust. Credibility with my sons. My ministry. Friends trusting me around their wives. Being able to look everyone I meet straight in the eye. Guilt-free family reunions. Walking my daughter down the aisle with people crying for all the right reasons. Staring at the ceiling late at night when everyone’s asleep and grinning like a carefree little kid.”
I logged on to Facebook, lost a friend, and gained a clear conscience.
Guys, when you sin, confess immediately. Give thanks that Jesus is on your side. 1 John 2:1 tells me that He defends me before the Father, that I’m forgiven and loved. That love is not a license to sin, but it compels me to walk on with Him. And I walk with a limp. So do my greatest heroes of the faith. Maybe that limp is why so many can catch up to us and ask for help.
One more thing: Flee youthful lust. And when you get to be my age, push your walker away from it as fast as you can.
In 2012, Phil Callaway celebrated 30 years of marriage to Saint Ramona (his pet name for her). Visit him at laughagain.org.
© Getty Images / Ray Pietro
This article originally appeared in the September, 2012 issue of HomeLife. Subscribe