CONQUERING STRONGHOLDS CHALLENGE 6
16: Admission and Confession
When did you first realize you had a sexual addiction? It was years before I understood anything about it. I was a single man who dated women and enjoyed sex. I never saw the harm in that. But, when times arose where I wanted to commit to a monogamous relationship, I wasn’t able to. No matter how hard I wanted to be “good,” I wasn’t able to suppress my desire for anonymous physical pleasure. I bought into satan’s manipulation into thinking the sexual sin wasn’t actually sin at all because it only involved me and another willing adult. Never once did I consider the woman’s feelings or wants. I just assumed it was always and only about sex. Sex outside of marriage is a sin, and it directly attacks you physically, mentally, spiritually, socially, and psychologically. The costs are super high, and much more than we can afford. What relationships have you lost because of your addiction? Maybe you’ve not fully come to terms that what you’re struggling with is an addiction. It’s time to face reality. It was Sun Tzu who said,
“Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.”
You’ve committed to this challenge, so even if you haven’t admitted an addiction, you have high suspicions that you might be. The only way you are going to shake the bonds that shackle you to the bowels of hell, is to start by confessing your sexual sin. Warriors, there is no judgment among Brothers. This is a course written by a man for men. Do women struggle with a similar addiction? Yes, but I have zero experience, nor was I called by God to minister to our Sisters about this affliction. So the questions I ask and the promptings for transparency come from a love for you and a burden I still carry as reminders of my battle for freedom. With that said, have you taken full responsibility for your actions and understand that you are in fact dealing with a sexual addiction? If you have, congratulations and let’s move toward freedom.
If not, please make the time to pray and meditate over this issue. I’ll ask you to write out in detail, some pretty specific and probably graphic descriptions in the Call To Action. It's going to be uncomfortable, but this is similar to the way a burn victim must heal by scraping off scabs so fresh, new skin will replace the wound. Take a moment to see where you stand in this battle. I completely understand the demand for confidentiality, and will never ask you to confess anything publicly or place yourself in an environment of risks. With that being said, there is a level of transparent accountability expected in your war against sexual sin. Where that level is drawn is your call and I respect that.
“I got this.”
We guys are wired to roll up our sleeves and fix it. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s a Space Shuttle or a light bulb, our minds say we can do it. In the big scheme of things, that’s not a bad way to be wired. That, “can do” attitude has led to exploration and innovation throughout the history of the world. Unfortunately, it has also left us in traps where the only way to get out is by asking for help. Millions of men have gone to an early grave because surrender is a dirty word that will not cross their lips. Yet, there’s a reason why militaries sound retreat as a signal to withdraw and re-evaluate the battle plan. On a lighter note, men didn’t get the reputation for driving around lost because we were happy to stop and ask for directions. We’re not going to beat ourselves up though. This is the way God designed us, and the masculine drive to accomplish has a much greater purpose than asking for directions. But, like all good things it comes with a price.
We men also come with a healthy dose of stubborn pride. I’m not talking about pride in a good day’s work. Unfortunately, this is the same pride God hates, or as it’s referred to in other translations as a haughty eyes. When we place ourselves on a perch so that we look down upon others, or even feel we can see eye-to-eye with God, is when we set ourselves up for His wrath.
These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
Warriors, God is looking for our surrender to Him. Not so He can control us, but so the victory He has already won can be given to us. It’s like winning a race, but refusing to stop running for the trophy presentation. Too often, our selfish pride prevents our complete surrender. That is when we fall to temptation and the addiction of sexual bondage.
18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Warriors know when help is needed. It may be how to fight with more skill, or run with less fatigue or love our family with no conditions. We all require the help of others. If you have a resistant spirit, please pray God with open your heart to allowing someone to help you.
In reality, by your very reading of this course, you’ve opened yourself up to surrender. Not to me or this challenge, but to the truth that you cannot break free from sexual addiction on your own. You can climb from the slippery pit of despair that satan has dug for you, but you’ve gotta first grab someone’s hand up.
Have you ever just did not feel like going? You’ve blocked out the time, cleared your calendar and to be honest, there is nothing else going on, but for whatever the reason, you do not want to go. I’ve been there way too many times.
But, then you think about the friend who said they’d meet you there, and suddenly, every one of your reasons for skipping just went out the window.
There’s a psychology about not wanting to disappoint other people. God’s given us an innate desire to please others. This is why having an accountability partner is so critical in breaking free from the devil’s bondage. Before you begin thinking of reasons why you don’t want to use a partner, please stop and reconsider. If I were a betting man, I’d say you’re first hesitation was that it’s no one’s business. Yes, we’ve already covered the issues with exposure. While I’m not suggesting you join a big support group, I do highly recommend you pray over God leading you into a one-on-one relationship with a trusted mentor.
Keeping your sin a secret is what satan is betting on. Trusting another warrior to help keep you accountable is what God is rejoicing over. He instructs us to hold one another accountable.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
I love that James clarifies the purpose and benefit of confessing to and praying for each other is so that we may be healed. That's an important distinction. It's a call for accountability. It's also a call for self-exposure under biblical conditions.
Athletes, businessmen, pastors and men from all walks of life benefit from accountability partners. This isn’t someone who judges you or fusses at you when you fail. He is there to listen to you, to help you set out your goals, provide help in researching resources, and maintaining a consistent schedule of contact, or an emergency ear to hear you in times of struggle.
Proverbs 27:17 is one of my go-to guy verses from the bible. I think it says it all when talking about accountability amongst the brethren. Please take the time to pray and meditate over this simple sentence, and allow it to speak to you about holding yourself accountable through another.
As iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.