At first I wasn’t sure how to write this post. Sobriety is being prepared as a Pastor just came off odd to me, I began to ponder what that looks like. I mean I’m prepared, and as someone who was addicted to porn in my teen years, I encounter people from all ages that are struggling with porn or sex addiction in some sense. Honestly I think what they are going through is what keeps my head on straight, because the wounds I see day in and day out are the same wounds I had, my brokenness is still fresh in my head, I can still just instantly go back to how I felt when I first got into porn, and when I was really in over my head with it, and how it left me feeling every time afterwards.
For me I believe that all sexual addiction as a far deeper root that stem from brokenness in our past and with that I believe that to be healed of the addiction to it, I believe it takes more than just putting the computer in a family room and sleeping with your door open to overcome it. While those things are great ideas for the performance part, and it does help eliminate some of the temptation, I think we can all admit that if we want it, if we are really struggling doing those things won’t stop us from getting it and meeting that need in our life.
So sobriety as a Pastor, we need to not only have sobriety, we need to have healing. We need to be asked the tough questions when was the first time we watched porn, first time we masturbated, last time we did either of those things. We need accountability to walk us through our healing with Jesus and ask us the tough questions and prod and probe the darkest areas so that we can forgive and confess and accept forgiveness. You know when I mentor a lot of young guys my age, and they’ve repented, they have but every time the slip up and go back to their vices, they feel instantly condemned, and as I talked with them and got in the mud with them I realized they’d never actually accepted God’s forgiveness. It blew me away, they thought it was really just a matter of saying you’re sorry, but in your heart you can continually reject His forgiveness because you’ve felt so horrible time after time that you subconsciously build up an identity of not being worthy of it. So as a Pastor we need to get healed, we need to have accountability, and we need to live transparent with one another and be willing to address any and all pass hurts that keep up hinged to our vices which ultimately is force feeding ourselves salt water. That’s why we keep going back to it, we think it quenches our thirst but ultimately it’s killing us faster, we have to have the living water, we have to have absolute Jesus freedom, and I believe we can.
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” – James 5:16
To me that’s what sobriety looks like in being a not just a Pastor but a Christian.
In John 4:7-15 “Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?” Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
That’s what Jesus is talking about, when we return to our vice or our addiction like a dog returning to its puke, we will keep coming back, we will keep needing more. Momentary fullness after we itch that sctratch but you better believe that itch will come back, and the more it does the bigger the rash will be and as the rash gets bigger the more area you’ll have to scratch. It’s the same with sex addiction with any variety, it’ll be porn, then masturbation, then sex, or group sex, or same sex, or random sex with objects and things not meant to partake in any kind of sex, it will get out of control and your need for it will become greater, and no matter how ridiculous it may look to everyone else you will get what you think you need. Every time bruising your heart even more.
Jesus asks you to give up your vices, not to ruin your fun, but to give you something even greater. He asks the girl for water so that He can give her water. He says that if she knew who He was and the gifts God has for her, she’d be asking Him for water! Water that quenches every thirst forever and meets every need.
This is absolution; this is true freedom, not just freedom on the surface where you perform your healing. No this is real, there is true actual freedom, and we are all dying for it, this is how we get there and this is how we stay there. Toss out anything and everything and anyone who gets in the way of you and Jesus. Get accountability, legit accountability who will call you out in love and discipline and correction, people who are willing to open your can of worms and get in the mess with you. And keep transparent with that person. If you’re a Pastor and you’re struggling this is for you to, you can be free, you don’t have to let it get so far that it makes CNN and the world knows of your indiscretions, stop it now with Jesus and Holy Spirit filled people around you.
I pray this was helpful, I pray this shook you and prompted you to make the changes you need to make.
Make 2013 your year of sobriety, your first year on the road to having a life full of victory over then enemy and his plans to kill, steal, and destroy your life. It starts now.