Like many people in the town where I live, I was raised by Christian parents. Every time the church doors were open my family was there. For as far back as I can remember, I knew that Jesus had died to save me from my sins. I thought for a long time that I was "born a Christian." I am so glad that I now know I am born again!
When I was around the age of thirteen, I started hanging around some people that would have very negative impact on me. I began dabbling in pornography and developed a lustful thought life. This would prove to be the trap that Satan set for me and I would battle this addiction for the next five years of my life.
I soon led a double life. During the week at school and church I appeared to have it all together. I said the right things, did the right things, and looked the part of a devoted follower of Christ. At home however, when I was all alone, I became a very different person. Pornography became a need that I had to fulfill and my "so called friends" were more than happy to pass me a magazine or a movie.
My Christian friends had no idea about the lie I was living, but the Holy Spirit convicted me day and night. The lessons I had learned in Sunday school, youth bible study, pastor's sermons, and most importantly, the lessons my parents had taught me ran through my mind constantly. I reached a point at the age of seventeen that I knew I had to either turn to Jesus or face a life of sexual addiction and lies. Around this time one of my best friends, who grew up in an alcoholic family, gave his heart to Jesus. I could tell his life was radically different. He knew about my pornography problem and the fact that I also claimed to be a Christian. One day, as we were preparing to go hunting, he asked me a question that would change my life.
He said, "Tripp for as long as I have known you, you have claimed to be a Christian. I have only been a Christian a short time but, I read in the bible that when Jesus comes into your heart that all things become new. I also read that your life bears good fruit. I just wondered if you think your life bears good fruit. Are you sure that if you died tonight you would go to heaven?" I was floored. Who was he to question my salvation? I grew up in church, I knew who Jesus was! Slowly the Holy Spirit began to speak to me through my friends words. I fell under deep conviction and knew that the Lord was speaking to me and I had to respond. Thanks to my Christian home I knew exactly what to do. I prayed to receive Jesus as my Lord and savior. The burden that lifted from me that night was indescribable! The desire to fulfill my lustful desires left me and the desire for the Lord and his word grew stronger.
Eleven years have passed since that day and my life, while not perfect has never been the same. I still have to battle sinful desires and there are times when I still fail but, now I ask my heavenly father to forgive me and to help me turn away from my sin. The best part is when he looks at me he sees the blood of Jesus applied! In closing I would like to share a verse that has become dear to me as the years go by Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. Praise God this is so true! I am so thankful that my parents taught me about Christ and brought me up in church. Even though I didn't have a relationship with Christ till I was eighteen, the spiritual truths I learned helped me to understand and recognize the Lord's calling on my life.