Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!

I was listening the other day to Allie Beth Stuckey’s podcast, Relatable, and she had on a guest who was truly shocking. His name was Joshua Broome. His testimony was just unbelievable. He was born to a young, single mom and didn’t have a relationship really with his father. As he grew up, he started getting attention for his looks and ended up modeling for a bit. In college, he decided he’d like to try acting so he dropped out and went to California to seek his fame and fortune. He was trying to “make it” there, but as many want-to-be actors do, he had a second job that he worked at as a waiter.

One night he was waiting on a table with a bunch of women, and one asked, “Would you be interested in trying out doing a porn movie?” For no good reason really, he decided to try it out. It was good money and no one would know and why not? He still hadn’t been super successful as an actor, so off he went.

Slippery slope

After that first movie, he knew it was wrong and he felt disgusting but he thought he’d never do it again. For whatever reason, the film went viral at the time and everyone knew about it. His acting agent dropped him because of it. You can imagine the rest of the story. The people who had done the porn movie contacted him about doing more movies, and at that point, he didn’t have anywhere else to go. So he did another, and another.

He was in the industry for several years, losing over 30 friends to suicide throughout that time. He even did homosexual porn, although he wasn’t same-sex attracted. Just all heart-breaking and repulsive.

The highest honor and the lowest point

He finally won the highest “honor” a porn star can get, and that same night, he decided he was going to kill himself. However, he wanted to deposit his check into his bank account first (he had no explainable reason why – he just felt like he needed to). The cashier at the bank looked at him and knew something was wrong, and for the first time in years, he was addressed by his given name, not a pseudonym. And that was enough to send him home to his mother and push him out of the porn industry.

He started working at a gym for work, and he tried to put his past behind him. He lied and covered up as best he could so that no one would know. But eventually, he met a young woman who he wanted to date. She refused the date but agreed to go for a run with him. And before they started running, he decided he was actually going to tell the truth to her. All of it. He was done with lying and covering up. He assumed she would reject him, but he didn’t want to lie anymore.


And her reaction was beyond astounding to me. After she was told all the gory details she said, “I don’t believe anyone is defined by the worst they’ve done in their lives or the best. I believe God defines us.”

Unbelievable. Honestly, all I could think of was that I know I would NOT have reacted like that (to my shame). Such mercy and grace to a broken man who needed it so much at that time!

I share all of this because it was a revolting story to me. I thought to myself, how could he look at himself in the mirror every day? He did such awful things to his body. He used his body in such foul ways, all for money. It was all just so awful. And yes, I thought that woman who would eventually be his wife was slightly nuts.

But God!

As I thought about this man’s story more, I realized that although I initially felt “morally” superior to this man, who is now a pastor, the LORD convicted me that I am no better. He is a sinner, and guess what? So am I. Some of us fall farther than others, but when we appropriately compare ourselves to Jesus (rather than one another) who is the exemplification of holiness and goodness, we ALL fall short (Romans 3:23). The gospel isn’t about what we do, but about Who we accept as LORD and Savior. It’s a decision of where we place our faith, not a task or anything we do. The sins that he was accountable for have been washed clean, just as much as mine were. Praise God for His amazing grace.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound

Which then reminded me of another man who had an awful past. John Newton, the man who wrote one of the most beautiful and well-known hymns, Amazing Grace, was responsible for shipping hundreds if not thousands of image bearers of God in ships to be sold as slaves. He treated human beings as no better than animals.

And here again, but God!

Isn’t God’s grace truly amazing? He saves wretches like Jason Broome, like John Newton, like me. God is so good. I hope we all remember how beautiful His grace is that he would condescend to us in the form of a baby so that he could save us from our sins. He did what we could never do. He came to save us, no matter who we are.

Now THAT is good news. What a wonderful, incredible gift! Amen?

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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