If you have been reading this series on accountability or following this blog for a while, you might be asking yourself, “why accountability?”
I get that question a lot in e-mails. “Why do I need to tell someone?” “Can’t I do this on my own?”
Haven’t you been doing this alone?
If you have not told anyone, then, you are fighting this on your own, and you likely are not winning, so the question answers itself. No, you cannot do this on your own, but I know you want to.
Whether it’s out of fear of telling others or a pride in our reputation, we each are searching for the ultimate DIY kit. We want something we can take home and do ourselves that will make us free. We might hide it behind justifiable means.
We might say things like, “Well, I don’t want to burden someone else” or “I don’t want to be an inconvenience” or “I don’t want to ruin her reputation” but at the end of the day it boils down to “I really don’t want anyone else to know.”
The Destruction of the “Other”
Pornography, by its nature, is isolating. It’s just you, alone, in the dark with your computer, iPad, Kindle, magazine, novel, movie, journal or brain. You are getting satisfaction that is supposed to come from two people being together. Two. Not one. Relationships are made for two. Sex is made for two.
Pornography is made for one.
If you have struggled with lust or pornography for any length of time, you may have noticed your relationships are falling apart. It isn’t just the romantic ones that are suffering- all of them are suffering. Your relationships with your family, friends, teachers, boss, church groups. Anything that involves another person is suffering, because pornography and lust warp how you see other people.
Pornography and lust tell you you don’t need other people, and when you don’t need something, it becomes disposable. Therefore, pornography and lust make people disposable. They are tools, objects, different characters in your world of fantasy. You don’t need them to be ‘happy’ and you certainly don’t need them to get out.
But, you do.
Created for Relationship
Being social is part of being human. Some may make this argument from a theological standpoint. God is a God of a relationship, therefore, since we are made in His image, we also are made for relationship. I believe that to be true, but the evidence goes beyond the theological.
Scientifically, humans need interaction with other humans. In fact,
Bottom line: we have to have people. Pornography does not draw us toward people. It draws us into ourselves. It confines us to hours and days of secrecy, darkness, isolation, and fear, and many of you might be feeling the effects of that. You feel socially awkward, even paranoid. You feel depressed or lifeless. You feel like you’re drifting.
The way out is not to fight your way back to an independent existence free of pornography. One of the ways out is to learn to reconnect with people again- living, breathing, people.
That, ultimately, is the why of accountability. Believe it or not, like it or not, you need people. From the day you were born you have needed people. Yes, you may have Christ, and you may say to yourself, “Well, God is enough” and if that were true you wouldn’t be here.
If that were true, Genesis would have read much differently. God would have created Adam and said, “There, perfect! Now, he has me. I’m all he needs.” That is not what happened, though. He went on to create Eve, and the intimacy of human sexuality and relationship, and then, just to make sure, we have this:
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:16, ESV)
The New Testament is filled with passages about how we are to interact with God and with each other.
And you may say, “But I am connected to people!” Are you really? Can you be truly connected to people if you are afraid they’ll find out who you really are? If you live in constant fear of being discovered or view them all through the lens of lust, are you really interacting with people? If we were honest, many of us would say we are pretending to connect to people.
You might have big social circles and stay busy. At the end of the day, your calendar may be full, but your heart is likely empty. Then you retreat to your hideaway believing that lie that no one could ever really love you for you. That is not connecting with people.
Our faith, our growth, our healing, our freedom- it all happens in community.
It happens with God and with people. That is the why of accountability- not because you are weak, or inferior, or hopeless. Not because you’re too stupid to figure this out or too messed up to ever get out. You need it because you need people, no matter what porn or lust try to tell you, you need people.