For far too many, sexual and relational brokenness has meant shame, hiding, masks, and deception. Some even take pride in the ability to keep things under wraps, to keep feelings hidden, to go it alone. All of this allows a person to remain in denial. It enables many to convince themselves that they will never have to deal with the consequences of their actions.
We can only keep the truth at bay for so long. The time finally arrives when we can no longer hide the destructiveness of our lifestyle from ourselves. For many, we were being hurt and we were hurting others often in the name of love. Hiding only increased our sense of isolation while at the same time destroying our self-esteem. Ultimately, we realized that the secrets we were keeping were keeping us from the freedom we had at last recognized we must find.
What we need, if we are to recover, is unconditional love. Often, our duplicity made receiving such love impossible. To know that kind of love, we have to reveal ourselves – warts and all – to God, to ourselves and to others. Confession is the key that turns the lock that keeps us isolated and vulnerable to sexual brokenness or any for of brokenness.
When you and I take a step-by-step moral inventory of ourselves, we will find things we need to confess. We must always begin with God because He is love and has promised to forgive and cleanse all who confess to Him (1 John 1:9).
When we accept God’s forgiveness, we become empowered to face ourselves in a new way. Knowing His forgiveness enables us to forgive others. Knowing His acceptance enables us to accept ourselves.
Now, all of that prepares us for a full and honest confession to another human being. This is vital if we are to break the patterns of dishonesty and isolation that have kept us from what we have craved all along. That unconditional love and acceptance which can only come from one who knows all that we are and all that we have done.
The person to whom we make such a confession must be carefully chosen. Confession builds incredible intimacy, which is an important and vital part of recovery. A word to the wise: never, ever make your confession to someone to whom you are sexually attracted.
Confession is not an “X-rated” recounting of every sordid detail of your sexual misconduct, but rather an honest facing of character faults which made you defenseless against your own lusts. Also confession is not a “blame game.” Nobody wins in the blame game. While our struggles came to us as a result of things that happened in our childhood, we are responsible for our responses to these things as adults. Confession means facing our own faults, not those of others.
Many, many years ago, at the very beginning of my discipleship, I hit a major wall. The wall had a definite name – Loneliness! Not truly desiring to face and deal with the underlying factors that was causing the loneliness; I contacted my pastor and began to share my grief. Really, all I wanted to do was whine. You know, the “Oh, poor me syndrome.” My pastor requested I meet him at the church for a more personal face-to-face conversation. I agreed. I arrived at the church before my pastor and positioned myself for my tale of woes.
Eventually, I heard my pastor pull in the church parking lot and he immediately proceeded to the sanctuary where I was waiting. He had no sooner stepped inside when out came the words, “Now, if you’ve got one good reason, I’m here to listen, but do not give me one excuse!” I still hear those words today. They were extremely authoritative and delivered with considerable volume. I was stunned and couldn’t say a word. After a few moments of silence and collecting my emotions, I realized that my pastor had told me exactly what I needed to know, but not necessarily what I wanted to hear. His words snapped me right into reality.
Frankly, I was cornered and now required to not only face but to acknowledge I had been giving my greater attention and energy to being successful rather than being obedient. Thank God for pastors who truly have our best interest at heart.
C.S. Lewis once wrote, “No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep picking ourselves up each time. We will, of course, be very muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home, but the bathrooms are ready, the towels put out and the clean clothes are waiting. The only fatal thing is to lose one’s temper and give up. It is when we notice the dirt, that God is present in us – it is the very sign of His presence.”
The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:11, “You were sanctified,” or better translated, “are being sanctified.” Sanctification is that process where sin’s power is broken and we are separated unto God, enabling us to come into the wholeness Jesus promises.
Too often, when we think of salvation, we think of it in our initial choice to follow Jesus. But rarely do we view our salvation as a process, which entails many choices and a string of deliverances.
Healing or arriving at a place of wholeness does not mean nor has it ever meant and absence of struggle. Our humanity, out of which our sexuality flows, will continue to bear the mark of the fallen age in which we live. But that does not minimize God’s power. Experiencing temptation, feeling irrationally threatened, acknowledging the need for on-gong accountability simply places each one of us in a dynamic process of becoming whole.
For example, while God was helping me deal with homosexual sin, miraculously, I was spared the painful recognition of my broken masculinity, which was under girding my sinful behavior. As I learned what it meant to be a man, and more importantly, a godly man, my masculinity began to be healed. The Lord revealed broken and hurtful aspects of how I related to family, friends, and people in general. God is faithful to reveal what needs to be healed. He does so in light of how much we can handle at once. And, He always blesses obedience.
It’s not enough to experience victory in sexual struggles. You might be saying, “It’s not…why?” Because the victory will be very short lived if we don’t understand the specific characteristic of God on which that victory is built. God wants us to know Him and trust His character and not just use Him as a means to escape having to take responsibility for our choices. To say that Christian love is unconditional is not to say that it does not encourage the one loved to do what is right. It is to say that Christian love continues even when that person fails to do what is right.
God help us to be encouraging rather than demanding. In doing so, may many understand that obedience, not success, is your will and desire.
Pastor Phillip Lee
His Way Out Ministries
© Copyright His Way Out Ministries