It’s amazing as much research that has been done on the detrimental effects pornography has upon the brain and yet I still hear this question being asked. The short answer is YES. But what actually happens within the brain when a person looks at pornography? Covenant Eyes has taken a really great look at the actual chemicals that are released when a person exposes themselves to something to graphic as pornography. We hope that it helps inform you to see how dangerous this kind of material really is.
Coming from an addiction, it’s really hard to be honest. To be real. To be vulnerable. We’ve become used to wearing masks and putting on a facade so no one can see inside to what is real. But the reality is that God can see through any mask we try to put on. So why should we be afraid of what man thinks of us? One of my favorite singers & song writers, Brian Johnson, shared in this humorous, yet truthful video about the importance of vulnerability. Enjoy!
Happy Friday everyone! I wanted to share an EXCELLENT article with you from Mark Denison, founder of There’s Still Hope, a national sexual addiction recovery ministry. Mark shares some really good tips here that you won’t hear from just any recovery book or conference. Enjoy these tips for your recovery journey!
It is important to read all you can about recovery. We live in an age when thousands of books, articles, and speeches are available, which address recovery from every angle. It is impossible to read too much. Go to every conference, read every blog, listen to every podcast. I’m all about education. That is why, before Beth and I launched There’s Still Hope, I went back to school. I earned a Master’s Degree with a focus on addiction recovery (Liberty University). I completed my PSAP (Pastoral Sex Addiction Professional) training through IITAP.
In 2019, Beth and I attended SILS (Sexual Integrity Leadership Summit) in Atlanta, the C-SASI (Christian Sex Addiction Specialist International) conference in Houston, and the Sexual Recovery Leadership Summit in Colorado Springs. But after reading all the books, receiving significant training, and attending 600 12-step meetings, there are five important truths I have discovered about recovery that I never once read in a book. Let me share those with you now.
1. Addiction isn’t a bad problem.
Okay, addiction is a bad problem. Anything that is devastating millions of families is a problem. But before sex addiction is a problem, it is something else.
Addiction is a bad solution. Let me explain. Addiction isn’t the root. It’s the fruit. We know that addiction results in broken lives and shattered families. But what results in addiction? In nearly all cases, at the root of addiction you will find at least one of the following: (a) trauma, (b) abuse, (c) isolation. The sufferer turns to addiction, not as a bad problem, but as a bad solution. Why does this matter? It matters because we need to treat addiction by addressing those core issues with each individual—trauma, abuse, isolation—in order to effect healing and life change.
Go here to read the rest. Believe me, they’re really good!
“An understanding that even the simple things we do behind closed doors impact the lives of others.” (“Kindness Boomerang: How to Save the World (and Yourself) Through 365 Daily Acts” by Orly Wahba)
This is a massive statement. My character is everything. My integrity means infinitely more than I can ever imagine. Even the simple things…like our thoughts, our motivations, our desires – the things we would consider to be so small are so monumental according to our Father in Heaven. It all matters.
I’m more convinced of this today as a husband and father of two than I ever have been. I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit who convicts when necessary and comforts constantly. I’m thankful for the Son, Jesus, who is an ever present reminder that the right choice can be made no matter what, and I’m ultimately thankful for a Father who never stopped chasing His children, even when they were at their worst.
“Because of my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever.” – Psalm 41:12 NIV
Recently, one of the guys who attends a men’s support group that I lead was sharing about his week in the group and began to talk about the power of shame. But he didn’t stop there. He also shared about a power even greater that has the ability to transform: honor. I’m thankful that he was gracious enough to share these thoughts me in article form and gave me permission to share them with you. Thanks Daryl!
If you have struggled with a sexual addiction or brokenness, chances are high that you have also struggled with shame. Shame is that deep down belief that you are inadequate, insignificant, or defective. It’s a core belief of who you are based upon the things you have done or perhaps not done. And while shame can shape our lives, it never shapes it for the good.
I grew up with a heavy sense of shame and by the time I hit 20 years old I so identified with shame that I told others that shame was my middle name. How is that for assuming an identity of shame? So, when it comes to shame, and recognizing it as the primary tool the enemy uses in my life to take me down, I have learned a thing or two.
But shame is not the victor, because shame is a lie. We are not inadequate, insignificant or defective. The challenge is overcoming those feelings and not sinking into an identity of shame. And the pathway to overcoming shame is knowing the truth. Oh, so much easier said than done!
As someone who loves working with words, I often seek to understand what words that we often take for granted actually mean. And sometimes the best way for me to do that is to understand the opposite of a particular word. So, for example, the opposite of fear is faith. The opposite of confusion is clarity. The opposite of judgment is grace. You get the idea.
So, when it comes to shame, I was challenged to identify its opposite. But it is crystal clear. The opposite of shame is honor. Honor is not a word that we walk around using as being one of our core needs or desires, but it is. We want to experience honor from our peers, our colleagues, our wife, our kids, our community, and so on. Another word for honor is respect. It’s the belief that we have value.
The challenge is, we cannot just conjure up honor. It comes from our relationships. Are we honored among men? By our wives? By our children? By God?
The truth is, whether or not we are honored by others, we are honored by God. I love what Psalm 18:35 says. “You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great.” Your help has made me great! Wow! Other translations say: “You stooped down to make me great.” That does not mean that God places us above himself. But he does honor us. In other words, he highly values us. He views us as incredibly priceless, significant, and worth taking whatever steps are necessary to be reconnected with us.
Psalm 62:7 says “My salvation and my honor depend upon God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge.” When Jesus died on the cross, he did not just die to take away my sin, he also died to take away my shame. He did that by demonstrating that my life was so valuable that he was willing to come and die and pay my penalty so that he and I could experience relationship with each other, without anything being in the way. What incredible honor he has given us.
God did not look down on earth and pity our disgusting lives—labeling us with shame. He looked down and because of the value he places on our lives, did everything possible to demonstrate how valuable we are to him. He established that we are honorable enough for him to die for us so that we might be reconciled to him.
When we live in shame, we lose sight of the honor and value God has placed upon us. Not because we are in and of ourselves great. But because he has established us in his sight as great…honored.
Does shame consume you? Are you overwhelmed by the weight of shame? Fight that lie with the truth of honor. As wretched as we all are in our own brokenness, and whatever the shame we may face, his heart toward us is one of honor.
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