It should come as no surprise that in today’s digital world, the need for protecting one’s identity is of utmost importance. Waking up to find that your credit or bank info was compromised by some hacker is both alarming and supremely frustrating.
Medical records, voter registration information, and even one’s reputation… Nothing is safe from the potential threat of identity theft.
But what do you do when the person threatening your identity is the guy (or girl) looking in the mirror?
The truth is over the past decade of working with individuals struggling with porn and other unwanted sexual behaviors, one of the biggest hurdles they must face if they want to find real freedom is understanding that their poor choices and actions do NOT define who they are as a person.
Just recently we did something called the 10 Day Freedom from Porn Challenge. This was a free experience we offered to men who signed up involving 10 days of advice and exercises to go through as they constructed a plan for themselves to find freedom in their lives.
A big piece of this challenge was the private Facebook group we set up for these guys so that they could connect and encourage each other throughout the process.
Here are some numbers:
- 671 men signed up for this challenge.
- 225 men joined the Facebook group.
- Less than 50 men actually posted anything.
Why such a drop off?
Did the other 621 men not have any questions?
Did the other 621 men figure it all out in 10 days?
Did the other 621 men not need any encouragement?
Or was it something else?
I shared this with a friend of mine and he said to me that he knew guys who had done the challenge and they loved it but they felt that sharing this stuff with other guys they didn’t know was awkward and uncomfortable.
I thought to myself, “Man, I get that, but this was an exercise in self improvement at the end of the day. What’s awkward and uncomfortable about trying to improve and better yourself? Isn’t that a good thing, not an embarrassing thing?”
I then shared this feedback with another guy I know who is a member of our LIve Free Community. His response was telling and insightful…
“Yea, but if a guy admits he needs help with sexual integrity, then he’s in essence saying he is a man who lacks sexual integrity in the first place.”
Translation… If I admit I need or want help in this area that means I am a weak person, not just a person who has a weakness.
This type of thinking is not accurate or helpful, but it’s pretty common unfortunately.
Over and over again I have witnessed many men either…
- Walk away from their sexual addiction recovery efforts because they believe that healing and freedom are unattainable because of who they are as a person…
- Not pursue recovery and freedom in the first place because IF they do, somehow the admission that they need help will reduce who they are as a person.
Both perspectives are severely flawed because they fail to recognize that our behavior is not the sum total of our identity and being.
Your identity is one thing.
Your behavior is another.
Just because you’ve failed in your attempts to find freedom from porn over and over again does not mean you are a failure and will never find success. It just means you’ve gone about it in the wrong way.
Just because you struggle with admitting you need help does not mean by doing so you’ll be less of a person, it just means you are willing to settle for less by remaining silent about your need.
We need to stop eroding or stealing from our own identity by choosing to believe that our actions and/or relationships are what gives us our identity.
- What you struggle with does not define you.
- What people expect of you does not define you.
- What you achieve or fail at does not define you.
What defines you and your identity is a Creator who loves you unconditionally and has already deemed you as “good.”
But how you choose to walk that identity out is entirely up to you.