You Can’t Give Up On Freedom




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Carl Thomas

Pastor | Live Free Founder | Lover of Jesus, Philly sports, fitness, tattoos, sarcasm, and craft beers.

If you want freedom you can’t give up.

Here’s something you may not know about me. 

I love poker. No-limit Texas Hold’em to be exact.

I don’t play it that often but when I get a chance I jump on the opportunity. It’s a great game. It pits you against your opponent in a game of strategy, cunning, and trickery. 

The stakes? Your hard-earned money and pride. 

What can be better!?

I remember one time I sat down to play a game after a long, boring day of seminars. I was about an hour in and had caught zero hands (i.e. my cards sucked).

It was terrible. 

I mean, poker is great but if you aren’t getting anything to play with it gets super frustrating.

Anyway, FINALLY, I was dealt a good hand. Actually, it was a HUGE hand. Pocket kings to be exact. Now for those of you who don’t know, that’s the second-best starting hand you can get.

(So I don’t lose you non-poker players I’ll keep it simple.)

I raised with my pair of kings and only got one guy to come along with me. 

Heads-up that’s a great scenario. However, about $60 into the betting I smelled a rat.

Something told me that my opponent was very lucky and caught a big hand. A hand that would crush mine! In these situations, only a complete donkey would keep going. (“Donkey” in poker terminology means, well … ass). 

Consequently, I folded my hand, lost $60, and lived to fight another day.

Why do I share this story with you?

Because I think it demonstrates what most people do when they know (or strongly believe) that they are beat…

They give up.

Now while in the poker world this is a smart play, in the real world it can mean a defeatist lifestyle.

Hear me on this. If you want freedom from your addiction, you need to believe that it’s possible to win.

That you aren’t already defeated.

So many men and women who are plagued with porn addiction never find freedom because they give up on their efforts too quickly. They have no hope of victory, so they throw in their cards.

They stop investing their time.
They stop investing their effort.
They stop investing in resources.

They stop believing that God can give them victory.


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Here’s what they fail to realize.

Finding freedom from addiction ain’t a poker game. You can always beat the odds.

If you know Jesus and you are battling against porn addiction you don’t have a good hand. You don’t even have the second-best hand. 

You have the ultimate hand. 

The hand that beats anything your opponent is coming at you with. 

Finding freedom from addiction is possible.  That’s not a statement of probability. It’s one of certainty.

But you need to believe that you can win.

You need to have faith in your unbeatable hand.

Then you need to push “all-in” and go for it because with the hand you are holding, you just can’t get beat.

In poker there is an expression… “You need to pay to play.”

You have the cards.
You have the chips. 

You just need to get into the hand, not give up, and finally win.

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