My name is Benjamin Scott Reagan, but I go by Ben, and I live in good ‘ol Knoxville, Tennessee. I hope you enjoy the brief story I am going to tell, and I hope it can help you wherever you are in your journey as a follower of Christ.
I once heard Matt Papa, a Christian musician, who between songs briefly speaks on the Gospel. He says the strongest emotion is admiration. Now, emotion certainly should not be the leading part of our faith, but it is still an inescapable aspect of our existence. So why then, if Matt Papa’s words are true, is admiration the emotion that connects with us the most?
First of all, admiration is selfless. Whether you’re admiring the goal and community of a group you’re in or the love of Jesus Christ, you’re not presently thinking of yourself. And for me, moments like this don’t occur a lot because of my own selfishness.
Dr. Sean McDowell, one of the speakers of this year’s Summit Conference at Bryan College, reiterated this point to me in his Monday night session on pornography. At one point during the presentation, he said, “An addiction is something that is used to fill a void of what a relationship is supposed to fill.” Often, in my personal struggle with being addicted to pornography I had idealized the physical pleasure and thoughts that came with the sin, despite the crippling pain it brought me.
But both the words of Matt Papa on admiration for God fulfilling us and the words of Dr. Sean McDowell on the deeper root of addictions, such as pornography, have revealed to me once again how much I need God in my life, how much I need to worship or rather admire Him, and also how enjoyable it will be to do these things to grow closer and know more of Him.
So, to anyone who is struggling with pornography or with anything other struggle and addiction, I pray that you may see your need for God and always run to Him craving to admire and know Him more.
Here is a poem I wrote during my time at Bryan College.
His is The Way
Cry, thy beloved friend.
Not for the troubles themselves but for the root;
The root of why we choose the pain.
For we all bear burdens, but His is light;
His is loving, care, and pure delight.
In knowing now thine only free Light.
That Day might guide us from worry, harm, and the continuing clutches of night.
Our road is not easy, and we need companions along the way.
Trusted friends who confide in us and say,
“We all have struggles, and I am not ashamed to share nor ashamed of my struggle seeming less.”
Look my friend, look me in the eye.
Our lives become so heavy, and tears soon turn dry.
But I know it in my heart and am realizing in my mind,
That His is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.