Quit the Excuses – I Can’t Take the Shame
By Jocelyn Hu
In my prior two posts I addressed the two incorrect ideas that 1) sexual addiction (porn addiction) isn't a big problem and, 2) that sexual addiction is something that can be tackled by one's self. In this final post I want to address the issue of shame. Specifically, how can we address our addiction issues if we want to avoid the shame associated with them? If you are going to get serious about recovery inevitably some people will find out about your little secret. How will you face the shame of your failures? How will you answer those who look at you differently because you have a "porn problem?" These are good questions and legitimate concerns but the only shame for those in Christ is choosing to live in your addiction by refusing to do something about it. In Hebrews 12:2 we are told that Christ endured the cross despising the shame.
Sometimes we forget that Jesus not only took the punishment for our sins and failures but He also took the shame. Why? So we don't have to live in it. Understand that Jesus died so you don't have to face the punishment for your sin or live in the large shadow of shame it casts. Yes, there will be those who look at your sexual addiction especially poorly. They will try to subject you to scorn that you weren't meant to suffer. They will throw stones at you from the safe confines of their glass houses. They will do all this but that isn't your problem ... it's theirs. If they aren't followers of Christ this is understandable. After all, grace is a foreign concept. Shame is a fact of life. Those who haven't experienced the work of the cross can't fully understand the freedom it brings. However, when it comes to those critics who do claim Jesus I would tell you that their condemnation is a form of idolatry that they need to confess and repent.
Think about it, when a fellow Christian wants to beat you up about a certain sin they find especially distasteful they are in essence saying, "Yea, I know Jesus forgives you but my standards are just a little bit higher." Really? You're the standard I need to live by? Jesus suffered the shame for your sins but not mine? Is that what you are saying? The reality is that you are always going to face "haters" but that can't stop you from doing what you need to do. Fear of man is a problem we all face but the Bible tells us that we are only to fear God. Don't let shame stop you from seeking healing and recovery. You can't do anything about the critics but you can do something about your addiction.
In the end it is up to you. Do you want to keep living as a slave to your sexual addiction? Do you want to keep hurting your family and yourself? Are you ok with having a secret life of porn addiction always worried about who's going to find out? As I said earlier, there is no shame except choosing to live in shame. Do something. Look at your "camp" and realize that you need to do some housekeeping. Choosing to live in addiction is extremely weak but fighting for recovery takes great courage. You can do it and there are people and organizations out there that want to help you. There is freedom for sure; you just need to claim it!