The following is an essay written by Matthew Duris, one of our scholarship winners from last year. Matt graduates this week with a degree in Psychology from Louisiana State University and will be working as a campus minister at LSU with Campus Outreach ministry.
This is one of the essays Matt submitted to apply for our scholarship. If you are interested in applying for this year’s scholarship, fill out our application.
Sexual temptation is rampant in our society. Especially as college students, it is a daily fight to “flee from sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18). It seems that if you run from it in one place, you run right into it in the next place. Accountability, guarding your heart and eyes, as well as seeing women as sisters in Christ have seemed to only become harder and harder with the growing use of technology.
As a 20 year-old seeking hard to glorify God, I seek to make Him known and stay holy—much more is needed than just diligent effort and desire for purity in order to accomplish this. The Holy Spirit is the one who truly does the work to guard us, but we need to give Him something to work with.
In Matthew 5, Jesus says that looking at a woman lustfully is the same as committing adultery. Immediately after, He says “if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.” This is how I use Covenant Eyes.
From when I was in middle school up through college, the fight of sexual purity via technology was (and still is) hard. Accountability had been dependent on whether I was willing to share what I was really going through, and the only means of filtering was hoping that I would hate sin enough to not give into the desire to pursue it. However, when I was feeling low and the pressure was high, I found my own strength was not enough to resist and fight the temptation. There was no barrier or defense in the way. However, Internet was inevitable to use for school and personal use. Purity books helped, but it would not prevent the ability to easily access the temptation at my fingertips.
When I was spending a summer at a 10-week discipleship project, the project director told us at a men’s talk that it is foolish to not have an Internet filter and accountability. The use of Covenant Eyes was soon to follow, and I have not even had the ability to access these temptations since using this software. I feel protected and safe from the snares of the world and have been able to cut off the hand of sin without losing my ability to use the Internet.
I have Covenant Eyes on my laptop and vow to not use other computers in private use. Even when I am up until late hours studying on the Internet for a test or finishing a last minute paper, I am not able to access the temptations that could so easily draw me away from purity due to the Internet filter. I have honestly never had a problem accessing the sites I still do need for school, personal, or work-related use. I have friends that often complain that their safeguarding browser does not let them access so many sites that are safe and that they would want to use. Some are just for sports or other recreational activities, but they still are blocked from use. I often brag about Covenant Eyes, as it allows me to do all that I need to do safely and does not have issues or cause annoyance.
My step-dad and two guys in my discipleship group receive my weekly reports about my Internet use. They are able to ask me why I was up late on the Internet and ask about any sites that they do not know of. It not only gives them a weekly reminder to check in with me, but it also allows them to directly see and follow up on my time on the Internet. Additionally, I use Internet on my iPhone. This is a life-saver! I used to not have any Internet on my phone because it was such a distraction. Now with the Covenant Eyes app, I am able to use it with no worries. I have friends that often have much trouble with their phone regarding this temptation. However, I do not have to fret, as I am free from accessing all of these sites that could cause a worry.
Jesus has used Covenant Eyes to bring me peace. Christ says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). This is the demonstration that Christ has used Covenant Eyes in my life freeing me from the anxieties of the world and guarding my eyes and heart. The world is giving a false reality that one can be satisfied if they just have a girl that looks a certain way or by selfishly using women for another’s pleasure. Covenant Eyes helps me to truly carry out the Job 31:1 covenant that I have made with my eyes.
I give no foothold to the devil, but instead give a foothold to righteousness. It also makes me think twice before I use the Internet or a certain websites because I know that others will see my Internet use. I am blessed to have the peace that as I go through my day, I have safeguards that will protect me from paths that Proverbs 7 warns men from taking.
I do a lot of ministry on the college campus, training men in their relationship with God and how to share the Gospel. If I have sins that are holding me back and do not hold to integrity, I am not only disqualified to lead, but I would also be robbed of my spiritual passion. Covenant Eyes allows me to train men to be after God’s own heart, providing the railings that guard me from presumptuous sins that can so easily entangle.