“You Are Not Alone: Stories from young men” is a series of personal stories we are collecting by young men to encourage peers and parents alike to pursue Jesus. Paul sought to encouraged us in 1 Corinthians 10:31 we are not alone in our temptation, and we want to continue that tradition by giving a voice to young men who want their peers to know that they too are not alone. View all the stories in the series
From Fear To Faith
Connor, age 17, tells how his fear of God’s judgement was transformed into love for God’s kindness.
My story begins like many Christian young men, in a loving christian family, attending church every Sunday. Though the theology in my church started out solidly biblical, at some point the pastor started focusing not on the love of God in Christ for sinners but rather exclusively on God’s imminent return in fiery judgement against sinners. He even had a date predicted for when this judgement would take place.
So as a small child all I heard at church was a story about God coming down and killing off every sinner and heathen. As a kid this was incredibly destructive to my view of God and my relationship with Christ. I saw Jesus as an accessory to God in his judgement, rather than my savior from that judgement. I feared hell, and I feared God, but not in a proper way. This fear took hold of me and it prevented me from ever really grasping what it was that Christ came to die for. At the same time, however, I’m thankful that my parents were faithful and loving and consistently communicated to me the good news that Jesus came to save sinners. The seeds were planted, but I continued to live in constant fear.
From the outside everyone would have thought my life was perfect, but as I grew this fear began to take hold in different areas: fear of failure, anxiety, and stress. I did really well in sports but I would have massive stomach aches before games. My grades excelled, but only because I feared failure and feared having anything less than an A. At the same time I began to experience sin and struggles in other areas of my life. I became incredibly impatient with other people especially my siblings. I struggled with pride, and like many young men I became prey to the lusts and passions of my flesh as I encountered porn and masturbation.
After a couple of years of becoming progressively more enslaved to my anger and lusts I began to realize that something needed to be done, but because of my fear I wasn’t willing to bring it to the attention of anyone else. Eventually, however, my father (thankfully) installed software on my computer that allowed him to view my browser history. I had no idea he had done this. A short time later my father came and stood in my doorway, closed the door, and pulled out a VERY long list of sites that I’d visited over a very short period of time...
There’s more to the story. The full article will be released soon.
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