Key Ring 18 - Covenant Eyes with Jonathan Davis

Jonathan the Trumpeter
1.A missionary, trumpeter, father, metal worker, etc. Would you be comfortable if you are referred to as a “Jack of all trades”?
Yes but only if you added “a master of none” because yes it is true I can do many things but I’m still learning all of them.

2. We think you are a good American Luganda speaker, why all the effort to learn a culture different from yours.
Because it is what Jesus did! Though He did it perfectly, I don’t do it perfectly. Jesus did not expect people to recognise Him and come to Him but rather God became a person; He learnt our language and our culture.
I do not think it is fair if I want to minister to someone that I expect them to learn my ways. I have to learn their ways first. Though unlike Jesus I don’t do it perfectly; my Luganda is too short– oluganda lwange lumpi.

3. In the American culture, is there any specific way men are expected to use their eyes towards the opposite sex?
Our culture is saturated with visual sexual innuendo in magazines, TVs, movies, it is everywhere. They try to put women who wear short clothing in front to motivate men in most of the marketing. It is accepted that lust is normal.
The only people that are saying we need to be careful are coming from church. At church we were encouraged to stay away from pornography so we could protect what we put in our mind.
In schools yes there is sex education but it is designed so you keep from getting pregnant and STDs. It has nothing to do with keeping the mind pure.

4. In Matthew 6:22-23, the Bible seems to suggest that there are good and bad eyes. What is the difference?
I think that passage is referring to the focus of one’s life because the eyes are the door through which we experience everything. Yes we have other senses but that of sight comes first in gathering information about our surroundings.
So if you have someone trying to stay pure by staying as far away from sin as they can, even if they mess up at some time, they easily recover. If however someone that does not care what they are looking at falls, they may not even realise the problems they are getting into. 

The problem however is that young people, inexperienced in life, do not realise that when they are young they need to be careful or no one is telling them they need to be careful: careful about the movies they watch or what places they go to, the Internet sites they go to, etc. But later on they get into marriage and they are going to have problems because they were not careful.
Jonathan the Family man
Everything you put in your mind stays with you. Images that I have seen in the past are in there despite the fact that sometimes they were wrong and I shouldn’t have looked.

5. But some young people say that what they watch does not affect them.
I just do not think they realise it or they do not think about it. They do not think that it is affecting them because they haven’t lived long enough to find out the consequences. But it does affect them. We have a saying in the US, “if you put a frog in boiling water it will jump out. But if you put it in cool water and slowly warm it, it will not realise it is cooked until it is too late.”

6. As a man, have your eyes given you any hard time?
Yes they have and ironically marriage does not solve the problem. I once thought that marriage would sort out the sexuality issue; it doesn’t though obviously it helps. Purity is something we struggle with forever.
I think every man has a hard time with his eyes. If they do not have struggles with looking at women then they have other problems.   God made us that way unlike women who are more emotional.
When I was still a young boy - when the Internet was still very slow - my parents had a computer and I found pornography on the Internet and I got very scared of it. And from that time I left it and I praise God for that. I have struggled in other ways but at least not with that one. Pornography can eat you alive!

7. Has anything helped you keep your eyes focussed on the right thing?
The most helpful thing has been to remind myself of truth. You can’t just take out something without putting something in its place. For example for someone struggling with pornography you cannot just say “I have stopped watching pornography”. You have to fill that gap with something good.
Even when it comes to marriage, you are the sinful person you are before you get married and when you do get in marriage you realise that you are even worse.
I think that is what men need to do: we need to remind ourselves of the truth. Because the thing that is tempting whether it is a woman walking on the street or a woman in a magazine or on the Internet on your phone, it looks like it tastes nice - and may be it does - but that is not the whole story. That is where maturity comes in. To combat the temptation with the truth that that sweet tasting thing will kill you.I do have an older man who is actually my boss who asks me these kinds of questions but I haven’t always had that. We should all have Pauls and Timothys in our life. But we live in a fallen world so we won’t always have that so we need to take the responsibility and remind ourselves of truth.  

8. Is the convent that Job made with his eyes in the Old Testament still one that a man living in this day and age can make?
It is so much more difficult than it was during the times of Job. In Job’s time, women had their bodies covered up and of course there was no media. If you were to look at a woman lustfully you maybe saw her face or like David could catch her bathing, I don’t know.
Otherwise you had to find a prostitute. Now it is everywhere; of course the media and all of that.  There are all these beautiful women walking around putting on less and less of clothing. Paying the same amount for their clothing but having less material – it is a bad deal.
When I was in the US last year I was shocked; young girls in primary (P6) wearing very short shorts to school – it was really annoying.
So is it possible? Yes of course it is. Only it is going to be very challenging.
My dad reminded me when he visited that it is important to make a commitment.  When I started secondary school, there were 2 other guys and we became very good friends. We sat down one day and we confessed that we had done wrong things and we said we were going to hold each other accountable. No one told us, no pastor told us you should do this. With those 2 guys we are best friends though separated by an ocean. My relationship with those 2 guys is probably what has helped me the most to stay on course. So guys need that. It is important to make commitments and you need to have accountability to follow up on those commitments. It is possible to make a commitment to stay sexually pure and keep that commitment.  

Jonathan the Welder
      9. Any final remarks on this subject?
I think as men we are very scared of being open and honest with each other. Most men we are so prideful yet we all struggle. We all struggle with lust, most with masturbation,
pornography, but we are afraid maybe because we know we shouldn’t be doing the things we do. So we keep to ourselves quiet and end up struggling alone whereas God intended for us to have more closer and open fellowship. When you take something that is sin and you put it in the light, it loses its power. So I think as men we need to be more open with each other. Forget this idea that I should be this amazing guy who shouldn’t be struggling with say thoughts of adultery.
I think for men generally in Uganda, the older men do not want to be open with younger men – I see that.
So how does a young man keep his way pure as Psalm puts it? That is a question every young man needs to be asking. And the older men need to be telling the younger men how to keep their way pure. Of course Psalm answers the question with “by living according to God’s word
One other thing I would like to say to the older men is that we have a responsibility to walk with the younger men: find them, choose them and walk with them. As a younger person it is very challenging to say to the older men “Oh can you mentor me?” I
always feared to do that. So I am now being proactive by saying to the young men I walk with that “I am going to mentor you, I am going to walk with you.

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