A former porn star who became a pastor recently shared tips for Christians on overcoming lustfulness and loneliness, stressing that lack of awareness can lead Christians down a path of temptation that they can take steps to avoid.
Joshua Broome, the 40-year-old who founded the nonprofit Finding Hope Inc. with his wife, Hope, was a guest speaker on an episode of Brittni and Richard De La Mora’s “Let’s Talk Purity” podcast last week.
Broome said that the feelings of isolation and lust can still be persistent for Christians even if they are thriving in their romantic relationships and have achieved great success in many areas in their lives.
But he said that loneliness and lust are not impossible to combat if Christians actively pursue closeness with Jesus daily.
“When you have an appropriate understanding of who God is, and you draw close to Him, that is where intimacy is found,” Broome said.
“And I think when we try to replace God with things, people — like even our marriage, even our kids, even our ministry — when we try to replace the intimacy that God is calling us to have, we will feel lonely [and] we will feel discontent.”
Broome said that he has to spend time with God.
“I have to talk to Him. It’s like your faith. It can’t be passive,” he said. “It has to be active. So, I have to actively be walking out and stepping into my relationship — not my status, but my relationship with Christ. That is where intimacy is found.”
According to Broome, a strong relationship with Christ can’t be accomplished alone, stressing the importance of good relationships and “finding good friendships.”
“I would say the evidence of health is fruit. So, if you look at John 15, where it’s like, ‘If you remain [in] Me, and I in you, your life will bear much fruit. But apart from Me, you can do nothing,'” Broome said. “In that Scripture, it’s talking about cutting off dead branches. And why would you cut off dead branches? Because they’re not producing fruit.”
“We need to get better at having self-awareness,” he added. “And just saying, ‘Hey, is this friendship producing fruit? Is it, like, benefiting me? Is it edifying me higher?'”
Broome believes that “awareness leads to fruitfulness,” which can help Christians combat loneliness and lust.
“People often think that adultery just happens, like instantly. [They think], ‘Oh, I see a girl. I look at her. Go to bed with her.’ It happens little by little. But I really believe that that happens because of a lack of awareness,” he said.
“[Christians need to be] asking ourselves the big question; ‘Why do I want to talk to her?’ ‘Why do I want to reach out to him?’ [Let’s say] somebody is being tempted with lustful thoughts, and, I don’t know, maybe they are being triggered online. How can we help them and give them awareness to traffic through that, so they don’t find themselves doing something that is out of character?”
Broome believes that a key to living a Christian life and resisting temptation is living “step by step” and “moment by moment.”
“Know that your heart is deceitful,” said Broome. “Really ask God to search your heart and bring to the forefront of your mind, literally pray that dangerous prayer: ‘God, show me my inadequacies, show me how I’m offending you. Bring that to my attention because I want to submit to You.’ That is where purpose is found. That is where freedom is found.”
Earlier in the podcast, Broome shared that being a Christian is a journey with God that takes time for every individual, urging Christians to “be patient [with yourself] in the process because God often wants to do something in you before He does something through you or for you.”
“I obtained all these things that I thought would make me happy and I figured out they didn’t work and my life was in this pit. And then I was walking with God. It was a process. It wasn’t just a ‘Yes, Jesus saved my soul and gave me a new heart in that moment.’ But walking with Him has been a process,” Broome recountedhis journey to Christ after finding success in the adult film industry.
Broome said one struggle he faced after giving his life to Christ was the temptations of longing for approval. He judged himself based on how much he achieved.
“When I wasn’t operating out of acceptance, when I was trying to go back to my old thinking, I was operating out of achievement,” Broome recalled. “My achievement drove my happiness.”
“In ministry, there’s a lot of big wins, but that’s not every day. That’s not every season. And I think it’s so easy to get caught up in, ‘Well, I’m not experiencing what I think my life should look like or what I think I should be accomplishing.'”
During his time of temptation, Broome said Psalm 23 by David served as an inspiration for him to put God first.
“[When I am] thinking about David [and] Psalm 23, [it] is like: ‘Lord you are my shepherd. I shall not want.’ Laying my wants, my success, my understanding of belief in victory because it’s not about me. It’s about furthering the Kingdom,” Broome noted.
“More importantly, it’s not even about what I could ever do for the Kingdom. It’s about me growing closer to Jesus Christ every day, me growing in intimacy with Him. Because so often, as ministers of the Gospel, which we all are … sometimes your life is not going to look like what you think it should.”
“Your objective is not to achieve; it’s to obey,” Broome said.