I came back from Passion Conference with what I thought was good news. Before leaving, I’d submitted an application for a job posting. The company called and booked me an interview a few days after my incredible trip. It was a Christian company, and the atmosphere was so calm with very friendly employees, including the supervisor.

The interview went well, and later that week, I got the job. I transferred companies and began my work as an office assistant with this new company. But I didn’t know this “Christian professional setting” was just a facade.

Not even a week into my new job, I saw problems surfacing, and what I thought was a good trade was actually a horrible mistake — employees talking behind others’ backs, snarky remarks about the company, and my supervisor almost quitting on us, even coming into work one day drunk.

Yeah, so much for a “Christian” company.

I did my best, learning on the go. The crazy drama slowly took its toll on me, though, and the company eventually let me go.

I was glad to get away from that toxic environment. But I was left in a very tough spot — with no job.

I went back on the job hunt but longer this time. Funds started depleting, bills piled up, and I begged God to help me find a job.

My best friend did everything he could to help me out, but he had his own stuff to deal with, and I couldn’t ask him for financial support. Every day without a job killed me financially.

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and I cried out to God why on earth no one would hire me. I filled out any job application I could find, but I received no calls back.

It got so bad that I didn’t have enough money to buy food! I didn’t eat at all for a couple days just to save on food for the entire week.

My hard-headedness made me rely less on my friends as I did not want to become a freeloader. I asked for help few and far between.

The notice of eviction reared its ugly head since I had no sustainable income to pay rent. I was losing hope fast.

Deep in my financial drought, I thought about the idea of prostitution again. I’d done prostitution before, and my options for finding a job were running thin. I did love sex and hooking up with other guys; why not dive back into that dangerous field and make some extra cash?

Just make one ad; it won’t really hurt you! You’re so poor, you can’t even buy your own meal!

Man, my thoughts were going wild. And I was in desperate need of help.

I knew I couldn’t go back in that lifestyle, though! Exchanging sex for money with older guys — some maybe older than my dad?

But every day got harder and harder. Applying to different jobs, getting no calls back, or hearing after interviews that the companies went with other candidates.

Discouragement and temptation hit me pretty hard. I was a failure.

Memories of my church telling me I couldn’t serve came back to me as well.

What if being red-marked at my church didn’t stay within their computer system? What if my church released that information to the public, and whenever a company did a background check on me they found out about my past? Maybe that’s why nobody was hiring me?

It was horrible!

And so the temptation to find a “generous guy” to help me out didn’t feel as farfetched as before. The idea and technology were there.

But I just couldn’t do it.

My feelings weren’t gone, but I knew I’d be subjecting myself to an endless cycle as someone’s f***buddy with a little some’n some’n on the side.

I couldn’t do it.

With all this financial stuff happening, I also had a few surprises along the way. Though some things would encourage me, most would be a hindrance, adding even more problems to my turmoil.

Have times of financial strain or ruin led to increased temptation in your life? How do you cope with lust or sexual temptation amid financial or emotional struggles? How have you escaped ongoing cycles of prostitution or other sexual promiscuity?

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  • Nine months after I had gotten out of the Navy, my mother (who I had come home to live with) lost her job. She was fired for stealing drugs from the hospital she worked at. I had to take care of everything at nineteen. We lost everything and became evicted. I was now homeless. Fortunately I didn’t have to sleep on the streets, instead I slept on other people’s couches and floors. I even shared a bed with my cousin (for certain favors). I had no idea where my next meal was coming from.
    I found a certain company that paid cash money for stripping. They didn’t care where you lived, only that they could contact you. So I became a male stripper. It was only one step away from actual prostitution. They offered a position for me in that endeavor, but I declined. It was decent money, and allowed me to eat, but not pay any rent. That was fine with my cousin as long I as did the ‘favors’ for him.
    I still regret this part of my life. It makes me feel cheap. Though I never engaged in actual prostitution, I was worse. I was a tease, a piece of meat for women (and some men) to feast their eyes on, I ended my service when I went to work for a convenience store and got my own place.

    • You’ve gone through a lot, Bradley. What to do with the brokenness of our past? Just what you have done–bring it all to the hands of one who can put pieces together and make us something new of us.

  • So glad to read of the Lord’s faithfulness to you, Joshua. And I like the verse. Spot on. Keep encouraged!

  • Thank you for sharing, Matt! I am so sorry you had to endure such a season- but I’m thankful you stayed resolute in not returning to prostitution. Your story is incredible and your faith is inspiring.

  • You sure have a great gift for writing! Thank you. I’ve known times of financial hardships at times too…am thankful how God provided…to keep me going in this merry go round we call life sometimes.

  • Plutonium, Been there as far as the sexual abuse is concerned. Mine was from multiple people. I came to Christ at 14, and that spared me from a lot that could have been, but I was left emotionally wrecked and confused for many years. I’m 43 now, and only really starting to come to grips with what happened, and it is a tough row to hoe. Feeling for you here. Don’t give up on God quite yet.

    • Your therapist is right from everything I’ve read, and when it hits, it hits HARD.
      I’ve checked out malesurvivor and a number of other places. Do you feel that site has helped you?
      What’s really been getting me through some of this is that I’ve started writing out my experiences and thoughts. I send them to my friends. It gives me an outlet, anyway.

      • Indeed it does! I’ve found sharing to be a huge emotional release and help. Thankfully, I have a good group of friends who are extremely loving and supportive. It has meant the world to me.
        I’d send some of my writings to you if I could. You’d probably indentify with much of them. I’m not a blogger, sadly, and don’t have my own web page. Cec Murphy did put one of my pieces on his site Men Shattering the Silence. It’s entitled A Number, if you care to read it. It was published several weeks back.

  • Sounds like you are truly living the Christian life. It’s nice to hear your story because that is what the normal Christian life is all about. There is no failure in anything that you are doing. If we sin, we have an advocate with the Father. At some point in my Christian walk, I embraced my homosexuality. That didn’t mean I ran after it, it just meant that I had to look at differently than how mainstream Christianity views it. I’d give thanks to the LORD for the temptation, for the lust, for the mast*rbation, and if I prostituted myself, I give thanks for that as well. When I adjusted my thinking and believed that Christ took the away the sin of the world 2000 years ago, I realized that there was now NO CONDEMNATION to those who are in Christ Jesus. When I was IN SIN, God came to me and saved me. When I received Him in my heart, I continued on screwing around and messing with men. BUT, I had an ally now, I knew that Christ was with me. I was ignorant at the time, and I mastu*bated several times a day, went out with men, voyuered around a bit, you know the drill. And God was with me.even in an all male bath house, I felt God in that little room I was given. He kept me from doing anything, even though I spent all night there, I cried, I didn’t want to be here, but here I was. Mind you, I had periods where I wonderful fellowships with the LORD alone by myself in the forest, and walking, and seeking His Holy Ghost. But, I had desires that I couldn’t express to a woman. And God loved me even more. The Churches preach from what the Law says, but I say unto you, “Christ fulfilled the law that we wouldn’t have to obey it”. The grace of God frees me from the law of sin and death. I am free to be me, with no restrictions. But, because I love the brethren, I refrain from certain liberties. And, causing someone to fall into sin is not on my menu. Yes, Matthew, I know what it’s like to have nothing. To be down to my last 2 cents. and God provided peace in the midst of my storm. Even if I indulged myself in pleasures during the storm, He kept me anyway, because “He is faithful and True”. He knows my heart and knows that I am weak. Grow in grace means to let yourself fall down so that the grace of God can pick you up again and again and again and again. If we resist because we believe it to be wrong according to the law, we are in trouble. But if we resist because we love righteousness and truth, ah, now, there is the grace of God in operation. That is the gospel, the good news that while I was out sinning, Christ died for me. Amazing Grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I am still a wretch. Praise God!!

  • The earnestness and openness you have here is amazing, Matthew. I love your words, and on some level, you. That you can be so open with things that are so dark is a beautiful testament of the Gospel of Jesus, and the amazing inversion as Christ has taken our weaknesses, sins, and mistakes and uses them all for his glory. This is truly precious to me.

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