I received this email yesterday …
“I believe that Jesus is Lord, I am severely addicted to porn. Lust. Masturbation. I hate it, I hate myself because I can’t seem to stop. No matter how many times I’ve confessed to Him and to men/pastors in the body. However, I’m still severely isolated from the body. And it’s partly because of the shame I carry around with me, I want to go to church but avoid it. I feel like God hates me, that I’m never going to change, that there is no hope, that I’ve fallen too far away that I’m cast away there is no repentance for me. I’m single. I hate myself and a lot of these feelings come from my addiction. It affects all areas of my mind and spirit. No matter how much I read the word. How much I cry and pray. I still return right back to it.”
Brother, thanks for being honest about what you are going through. I felt the same way for years only I could not avoid church … because I was the Senior Pastor! I remember the days of being on my knees and begging God to help me but not being willing to do what I really needed to do to stop the insanity. It would cost me my job, my career and maybe even my family.
So, here is how crazy that thinking is. Basically, I was believing that God was either too small to solve my problem or was not someone I could completely trust to see me through whatever the consequences would be. The darkness of our shame and the prison in which we allow it to hold us is filled with lies scratched into the walls by former occupants. Lies like …
- Nobody will understand my addiction to porn.
- Stay away from anyone who might be able to help you.
- Avoid Church. Avoid others. Avoid God.
- You have fallen too far and are therefore completely rejected by God.
- He gave everything for you and you respond by acting out with sex!
There was a prisoner who was sent into exile sometime after Jesus ascended into heaven. He loved the Lord and the Lord loved him. He understood the darkness of sin as he watched his Savior be slaughtered on the cross. Yet, he also saw His Lord risen from the dead. To everyone imprisoned in sin, he wrote these words on which 180 Ministries if founded,
“This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
I do not care how dark your darkness has become. There are so many Christians who think they are walking in the light yet try to keep their sin a secret. They fill the churches every week wearing that phony smile, flashing their pearly whites and saying they are fine … when that is not true.
What would happen if we all started telling the truth? What if you were to say to that person asking you how you are doing that you are NOT fine. That you are struggling with sexual sin and it is killing you with pain and filling you with shame. Imagine that, people going to church and being honest and trying to help one another instead of pretending everything is ok. Wow, I would love to see that. A crack in the façade where the Holy Spirit might even show up and start a revival.
I can only imagine!
And to the brother who reached out for help, I want you to know there is freedom in Christ. This addictive behavior is rampant among Christians. Some say even 60% of ALL Christian men are addicted to porn. However, if one is willing to be honest and willing to work through the issues and become attached to a small group of other men helping each other you can recover and find the depth of the Love of Christ so much greater than all our sin.