One of the strongest weapons used against us in sensitive areas of struggle like lust, sexual addiction, and pornography use is shame. The negative emotion of shame drives us to recluse and isolate ourselves. That solitude shame wants to create is exactly where the enemy wants us: alone and vulnerable. But accountability matters.
Knowing Your Enemy
The Bible warns us to “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roarig lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8-10) I have watched enough National Geographic documentaries to know Lions don’t attack the strongest prey surrounded by their capable friends. Lions go after the weaker, often isolated, and wounded prey because detached prey are vulnerable. You and I are more vulnerable when we are detached from community.
The unfortunate reality is this…I have spent most of my life in the local church context, and very few of my experiences were “safe” spaces in church communities that openly talk about sexual issues beyond abstinence. The sentiment is typically if someone struggles to abstain, they probably don’t belong. If your life has ever been marked by sexual addiction, you have probably become an expert in loneliness.
Someone once said, “Loneliness doesn’t come from being alone but from being surrounded by people who can’t understand you.” The reality is the feeling of loneliness is a gift from God to drive us towards and not away from healthy relationships and accountability. Still, our enemy twists the emotion of loneliness and utilizes a cultural norm of sweeping things of a sexual nature under the rug. When this happens…before we know it, we become the isolated, less protected prey. When we don’t have community and accountability…we become a more vulnerable target for our enemy to devour.
“Loneliness is God’s Cry for Intimacy with us. Loneliness should drive us towards community.”
The Healing Power of Community and Genuine Accountability
The good news is that Freedom and Healing from pornography use and sexual addiction is Possible! The opposite of addiction is connection! With connections comes accountability. And accountability matters a great deal when it comes to recovery.
James 5:16 shows us that something powerful happens when we let others into our lives more deeply. Telling someone the truth when it is not something we are proud of is incredibly difficult…but the moment we do, hell loses its grip, healing begins to flow, and grace covers a multitude of sins.
The moment we ask God for forgiveness, we serve a God who is both faithful and forgives us of all unrighteousness. Jesus pleased God for us on the cross of Calvary! The moment we confess our sin to those who hold us accountable, whom we live in close community with, is when God’s Healing virtue begins to flow.
I’m afraid we live in a world full of forgiven but still, very hurt and broken people because we have yet to be vulnerable in community. We have yet to be transparent and confess our sins to one another; therefore, we miss out on the deep healing that comes through that meaningful relationship. That void, or missed step in God’s process, creates a perfect storm of isolation. We fall short. We love that God still forgives and loves us unconditionally…but then we go back to old patterns and fall short again when we never find the healing power of community and genuine accountability. Let us break that cycle in these ways:
Run Towards, Not Away from genuine accountability partners.
Aggressively pursue real relationships with people nearby.
When you Feel Alone, Don’t be Alone. Refuse to be alone! Be Reminded We are All Better Together. Be Honest and Open with Safe People in your life. Be a Safe Person for Others to be Open and Honest with You. Lean In even when Accountability is Uncomfortable. Experience Healing, Wholeness, and Freedom like never before. DON’T DO LIFE ALONE – ACCOUNTABILITY MATTERS!