“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” –Romans 8:1-2
I have struggled with my addiction to porn and masturbation for over fifteen years and finally decided to talk about it a little over a year ago with someone I really trusted. This led me down an incredible path of healing and forming some deep and real friendships. I was amazed at the response of my friends who did not shun me (what I was expecting) and were so willing to help in any way they could and love me through the process.
For over fifteen years, I was paralyzed by shame and guilt. I am a woman, this addiction is a man’ problem. I must be the only woman who struggles with this which makes me so dirty and sinful. These shame-filled thoughts clouded my mind and heart and I drowned in my addiction for so many years because I was so blinded.
God is not a God of shame and condemnation. These feelings are directly from Satan and he uses them to his advantage. I have loved Romans 8 in the last few weeks and have clung to the promises that it provides. I love the phrase, ‘And because you belong to Him”. You and I belong to God, we do not belong to Satan and his lies. God is so much bigger than our sin and He longs for us to live without condemnation and walk in freedom. Another promise in this verse is that we are free from the power of sin. God has the ultimate power and sin cannot keep us down. God provides so many ways out and so many promises and yet it is still so easy to feel condemned and shameful.
The more people I open up to about my addiction, the more the shame peels off and I feel so free. Every response I have received has been a glimpse of who Jesus is. I have learned so much about how Christ truly does accept me amidst my addiction and does not look at me any differently than anyone else. Satan fed me so many lies telling me that I was by myself in my struggle and I believed every one of them. This caused me to live in shame and not see how much God truly loved me even with my addiction. It took me a long time to realize that I was not alone in this battle. It took some serious convincing from friends (some were women who have struggled with this) until I finally believed that I was not the only one. Once I realized this, my shame went down and I was able to realize that true healing could occur.
Have you been able to share with someone you truly trust about your own struggle? Believe me, it is worth it. It is one of the hardest, most nerve-wracking things I have ever done but it also is one of the best things I have ever done. This changed the course of my life and I am a new, changed person because of it. I urge you to find someone you can trust with your heart and share this part of you with. I guarantee you that their response will not be what you expect and you will see glimpses of Jesus through them, if you let Him. True healing cannot happen without confession, I urge you to find someone and be ready to be amazed at what God is going to do