I became acquainted with blogger Paul Robinson through Jon Acuff’s “30 Days of Hustle” Facebook group. Paul was looking for guest blogger experience and when he shared his bio, I encouraged him to write here on this topic. If you or someone you know is struggling with p*rn addiction, I encourage you to check out xxxchurch.com, and of course, seek pastoral counsel from a Bible believing church.
Waving the White flag at P*rn.
Surrendering is generally a negative term. No one likes to surrender. Surrendering means defeat, it means we can’t deal with something, it means we are weak.
Or does it?
Surrendering is all to do with perspective. Depending on which angle you look at it; to surrender can be something that we are trapped in or something that sets us free.
Addiction is a great place to see how this works out. Addiction can cause us to surrender so much of our life to activities and thoughts that kills us. Ironically though, addiction can only be defeated if we take this idea of surrendering and turn it on it’s head.
In the church today we are addicted to so much. Money, food, power. And p*rn. The latest stats regarding the use of p*rn by Christians makes for some pretty interesting reading.
In this post I want to look at both sides of surrendering and how we as individuals and as a community of the Church can beat our addictions.
First, a look at some of the ways that addiction can cause us to surrender ourselves.
Surrendering your self esteem
If you are addicted to anything and you want to give it up but you can’t, then your self esteem is one of the first things that takes a beating. One of the most used phrases an addict ever uses is “I swear that was the last time”. When the church stays silent on something or when it does speak only using shame and guilt, then it becomes even more difficult. The misconception that no one else struggles with this, or that if I was a decent Christian then I wouldn’t be doing these things will break down your self esteem bit by bit. Which in turn means we turn for comfort to the thing that is destroying our sense of self.
Surrendering your dreams
Everyone has dreams. I truly believe that. Sometimes though the things that control us can dull those or even hide them entirely. Once you were passionate about music, then p*rn came along, and slowly our motivation dwindles. Or you used to love to help people think through their own issues but p*rn took over your life and now your own issues are allowing self doubt to creep in.
Surrendering your community
When you look at p*rn and you don’t tell anyone, eventually the shame takes over and pulls you down deeper and deeper. Which increases shame. The thing about shame is this; when you feel it you don’t want to face anyone. You’ll stop responding to invites and you’ll just want to hide. You’ll isolate yourself from the very people who love you.
Here’s the good news. Surrendering doesn’t have to be all about porn controlling our lives so the good things we are given are destroyed. Surrendering is actually all about strength and character. The first thing that anyone who wants to heal from porn or any other addiction needs to do is to realise that they aren’t in control. To surrender the idea that they need to look good. When this happens the addict can begin their healing by letting others in.
Allowing others in may be difficult, but it is the only way we can truly allow ourselves to be loved as we are, no matter what we do. Our common idea of surrendering being negative usually stops us from letting go of our addictions, but when we see surrendering in a new positive light, it can be where the real us and our real strength will become real.
Recovery is possible but it only happens when we surrender the ‘control’ p*rn has over us.
It only happens when we surrender the idea that we need to be perfect.
And it only happens when we ask others for help.
Then you can start turning surrendering into conquering.
Paul Robinson is a blogger and an x3group leader for xxxchurch.com. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Paul now lives in Detroit with his wife, Brittany. So far he has managed to successfully switch from driving on the left hand side of the road to the right, but draws the line at calling ‘football’, ‘soccer.’ You can read more by writing paul (at)paulrobinsonwrites (dot)com and can follow him at @paulrobinson on twitter.
Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!
Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.
We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below. The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.
If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.
by Sharron Cosby
Christmas. The mere mention of the word sends thoughts and memories skittering like a box of spilled ornaments. Some roll toward sweet remembrances of times shared with family. Others bounce to the let’s-not-go-there corner of our minds.
I recall Christmas 2009. The one I wanted to cancel. My only son is an addict, and this was his worst year ever. I had convinced myself it would be his last, assuming he would be in prison or dead by the next Christmas. I told my daughters we would exchange gifts and have our usual holiday dinner, but no tree or decorations. I couldn’t dredge up the emotional energy to plaster contrived cheer around the house.
I’m usually the decorator, gift purchaser, food preparer, and mess cleaner-upper. Executing the necessary holiday tasks takes time and effort. Worrying about my son had left me drained of the required get-up-and-go. I couldn’t do it. Thank goodness for online shopping; at least there would be presents to hand out.
My pastor’s message four days before Christmas cut straight through my Scrooge-like attitude. His sermon points were: The holidays are too much trouble, count your blessings, and forgive someone.
Considering Christmas too much trouble reflects a selfish attitude, according to my pastor. What if Jesus had thought that way? My icy heart began to thaw.
The second point, count your blessings, stopped me dead in my tracks. Count blessings with a broken heart? I considered my husband’s love and my two daughters who have stood by their brother. I smiled as I pictured the faces of my four grandsons and the joy they brought our family. Yes, I had many blessings to number.
The third was the hardest: forgiveness. Forgive my son for the pain and suffering he had caused? “God, you can’t be serious,” I protested. “We’ve spent thousands of dollars on him, he’s broken our hearts, and he’s in worse shape than ever before.”
“Forgive him,” the Spirit whispered.
Tears slid down my face as I chose to forgive my son. No strings attached.
After church I headed home with a changed attitude. When my husband left for work, I retrieved the ornaments, dragged the Christmas tree from the garage, and set it up, my gift to the family. Decorating our tree with the children’s handmade ornaments is always a joint project, but that day I worked alone. I held the clothespin reindeers, popsicle stick picture frames, and monogramed angels and remembered the good times.
With tear-filled eyes, I watched as amazement etched the faces of my daughters when they came to our home Christmas morning and saw the decorated tree. “Mom! You put up the tree after all,” they said.
The biggest surprise of the day came when our daughter’s boyfriend knelt in front of her and asked, “Will you marry me?”
The discouragement of addiction was replaced with the joy of new beginnings, which is, after all, the message of the Christ Child.
Sharron Cosby has been married to Dan for thirty-nine years, is Mom to three adult children and “Mimi” to five grandchildren. Her family was rocked by her son’s drug addiction for fifteen years until he laid it down on February 18, 2010. She uses her life experiences to offer hope and encouragement to families caught in the chaos of addiction. Sharron is available to speak to groups on addiction related topics. Sharron recently published her first book, Praying for Your Addicted Loved One: 90 in 90, a ninety day devotional for families in recovery or those wanting to be. Receive weekly encouragement at her blog, www.efamilyrecovery.com, and Twitter @sharroncosby or contact her at moc.liamg@ybsocnorrahs.
a Rafflecopter giveaway