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3 Keys to Beating the Shame

 

 

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Carl Thomas

Pastor | Live Free Founder | Lover of Jesus, Philly sports, fitness, tattoos, sarcasm, and craft beers.

When we created Live Free the main goal was to provide a safe and encouraging place for men to share their struggles with porn and get help.

I gotta tell you, it’s been awesome seeing so many guys find hope and acceptance in there, no longer needing to remain silent and all alone.

However, at the same time, it’s kinda sad that we can’t experience the freedom of complete transparency outside of a place like Live Free because of the fear of rejection and/or people’s inability to handle the messiness of life.

Unfortunately, there are a ton of people out there suffering from their sexual “addiction” who want to tell someone but feel like they can’t.

Every person I have ever talked to that is seeking recovery has felt this way at one time or another.

The question is … why?

Why can’t we tell people about our “dirty little secret?”

The answer is … shame.

Shame is a common enemy that we all deal with and something that those who struggle with porn are all too familiar with.

Shame is extremely isolating and keeps people trapped.

Shame takes the spotlight off your decisions and puts it on you.

It lies to you and says, “If people knew what you did they would never understand and reject you like the worthless piece of crap you are.”

See shame is different from conviction.

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Conviction is about what you did and motivates us to make a change. Shame, however, is about who you are and keeps us in a pit of despair.

Shame sucks and you know what? You don’t need to feel it or believe its lies.

Ok, sounds good … right?

The only problem is … I still feel it, so now what?

I’d like to tell you three things you should recognize next time the shame monster shows up at your door.

First, know that you are not alone. 

Statistics show that over forty percent of Internet users view pornography.

Additionally, forty-seven percent of Christians admit that pornography is a problem in their home.

I don’t share these figures with you to “normalize” your struggle but rather to show you that your struggle is not uncommon.

In fact, it is all too common.

The reality is that while shame tells you that you are alone and uniquely broken, the truth is you are not.

In fact, chances are that while you are sitting there feeling isolated because of your shame there are many people in your life (and in your church if you go to church) who are feeling the same exact way.

We all struggle with the same stuff. Some of us just handle it differently than others.

The problem is that we have been lied to and told that sexual sin is especially heinous and needs to be covered up.

However, the truth is that this stuff loses its power when we expose it.

Don’t buy into the myth that “it’s just you” and keep yourself isolated.

Second, Get accountable and find the support you need.

This is the first step to overcoming your shame.

Jesus did not die so we all can live in our own little prisons of brokenness and isolation. When he took on your sin he also took all the shame that comes with it.

When we say, “I can’t possibly talk about this” we are in essence saying “God isn’t big enough to handle my mistakes.”

Jesus does not want you to feel like you are alone.

He didn’t die so you could be crushed by self-condemnation.

He wants you to experience the freedom found in the sufficiency of his grace.

Lastly, if do muster up the courage to share your struggle and get rejected do not let that bring you down.

Their rejection is not an inadequacy on your part but theirs.

We are all broken.
We all have damage.
No one has got it “all together.”

You are doing the absolute right thing by seeking accountability and healing. 

Again, do not fall for the lie.

Exposing the brokenness in your life is exactly what the enemy does not want you to do.

Walk boldly knowing that Jesus’s grace is completely sufficient and does not expire like a carton of milk.

Find security in God’s love and forgiveness and tell shame to go to Hell … just where it belongs.

By the way, if you need a place to be the real where you can share your struggles without shame, check out the Live Free Community.

Join over 850 other men who have chosen to do the same and are living life with transparency and free of all the shame.

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