Imagine for a moment you are walking down a path. Suddenly your feet are entangled in vines. You struggle to break free and keep moving forward, but just inches away from you is a pit, hidden from the eye by branches and leaves. You fall in. You are now injured, bound, and trapped.
In week 1 of this series, we talked about how to undo those bindings. I encouraged you to lay down roadblocks to help loosen the grip that pornography and lust can have on your life. They are the vines that got you into this pit of shame.
In week 2, we talked about how to get out of that pit. Obviously, in a real-life scenario, you would look up for help. That is exactly what we are to do as Christians.
Now, in week 3, though, I’m going to address something that is probably a little less comfortable. It is something you might be tempted to skip over, but I feel it is one of the most important things many people are missing as they try to live in freedom. Each other.
We like to think “I have God. I got this.” The reality of the matter is, growth happens in community. We need other people.
This is not about accountability. Yes, I think accountability is important, but what I’m addressing here is isolation. For whatever reason, many of us have a tendency to ‘ground’ ourselves. We make wrong choices. We fall into sexual sin. We watch porn, sleep around, masturbate, and then we feel guilty.
We put ourselves in a ‘life time out’ and cut off all relationships because we feel unworthy, or we are afraid to mess them up. We purposefully isolate ourselves from people around us- parents, spouses, best friends, pastors. We cut them all off because we feel defective and stupid for having this struggle.
If you were i that hole though, and climbed your way out, the very first thing you would do is look around. You would check for other holes, warn others, see who could help you. You would live life more aware of your surroundings. That is what I want to encourage you to do here- look around.
This week is going to be about relationships and how to heal those, because that is a huge step in freedom.
- In addition to the patterns you have built up over the last two weeks- the roadblocks, a devotional schedule, etc, take some time today to make a list of the relationships in your life that your struggle has affected the most. Don’t overdo it. Keep it to 5 or 6 significant relationships that are hurt by your struggle. The other person may not know about it, but you know that you act differently around them because of shame and fear. Write those names down and beside the name, write one quality you admire in that person. Underneath that, write a couple thoughts about that particular relationship. We’ll use these this week.