As evidenced in my last post, honesty is important to me. I want to be honest with you, and I want you to be honest with yourself, with God, and with the people (or at least one person) who actively participate in your life.
And I truly believe that in order for us to learn honesty, we need it modeled.
We value honesty in Christian circles, but so often we must ensure that it’s a “modest honesty.” And I’m not interested in that.
In my last post, I talked about the dangers of this modesty. I don’t want the honesty in this blog to cause anyone to sin, but I also don’t want to hold anything back or keep it locked away. This is a difficult balance, but it’s too important not to try.
I promise that I will give my own answer to the “The Pink Question” in another post, but (and I’m about to get really evangelical here) sometimes God interrupts our plans. I was having an incredibly hard time working on my own answer to “The Pink Question,” but something (the Holy Spirit, most likely) struck me with something else.
Many of the people who have read my blog expressed a certain discomfort with the frankness of my words and the honesty of my sex addiction. On some levels, I’m glad they are uncomfortable, but I hope it’s a sort of comfortable discomfort.
I don’t want my writing/story to be polished. By that, I mean I don’t want the rough or unflattering bits to be buffed off. Read any book that focuses on sexual sin and the author is honest that he too struggles, but he is often vague about the aspects.
It’s a way of hiding. It’s a way of being courageous enough to tell a very hard truth. “I look at porn.” Or more often, “I’ve looked at porn.” We make it past tense. We hide from the truth of our predatory sexuality.
I don’t want to be hidden in my work, because I know that my honesty could be an example to many men and women who are lost and scared.
I can be someone who says, “Look, right now you feel like the most messed up person in the room. You probably feel like there is no hope. But I am truly no better than you.”
Last week I had a huge porn binge. And even last night, I fell asleep fantasizing, desperately wanting a guy’s physical touch — both sexually and not.
I still struggle. And if I’m honest, I still struggle because I really don’t want to stop.
Sexual addiction runs deep in most of our lives. So much so, that I would guess many people in our churches are sex addicts but have no idea they are. That means that they can’t get help or bring things to the light because they don’t even know they need to.
Maybe it’s secretly masturbating behind the backs of their wives. Maybe it’s a porn addiction. Maybe it’s the sexual preoccupation with the people around you. Maybe it’s online relationships or chatting or other little fantasy outlets.
I’ve talked, chatted, and messed around on webcam with tons of married men — probably Christians — totally unable to break out of this shell and experience grace and freedom.
Freedom. How can I say I’m free if I just admitted that I fell asleep last night fantasizing about a guy?
Maybe one day I’ll blog about what I’m learning freedom to look like and be. But in short, I think it’s this:
Freedom is the weightlessness of my sin.
I used to envision (I dreamed it a few times) myself shackled at the gates of hell, unable to escape because I couldn’t stop masturbating, looking at porn, or wanting to have sex with the guys around me.
Very recently, however, this all changed.
You see, if I polished my narrative, I would risk missing something that might connect with someone else. I might miss an “oh my gosh, that’s me” moment.
We isolate ourselves when it comes to sexual sin. We give way to fear — fear of being othered, or outcast, or being “too messed up” for grace.
I’m not as strong as I want to be. I mess up a lot and in ways that I think someone of my spiritual maturity (where I think I am) shouldn’t. But I am also experiencing more peace and assurance than ever before about my place and purpose in the Kingdom.
I want people to have hope that Jesus really can love them. We talk a lot about Jesus coming for sinners, but we are never ready to get down and dirty about our current sinfulness. We are never ready to risk that kind of vulnerability. It opens us up to pain. But that’s kind of what Christ desires for us.
Honestly, I don’t really know what I’m doing.
I don’t have a list of 12 things to do to stop jacking off, or 5 proven ways to make yourself straight, or 7 ways to love God more and love porn less.
But I’m willing to get down and dirty. God has given me this — this thing that has me ready to showcase my un-buffed jewels to the world and its spectators.
I know I can help create a space for us to be honest: with God, ourselves, and the people around us. Even if it isn’t the secret formula to sinlessness, I do think that a safe place for honest conversations is a key component for true Christian community, freedom from the holds of sin, and an abundant life.
Do you feel held back by a “modest honesty” among other Christians? Does it help knowing that there are other people in the same boat as you? Do you believe that Jesus still loves you despite your unpolished actions?
* Photo courtesy pancakeplan, Creative Commons.