3 Truths About Freedom – Pt. 1
But why freedom?
Well as we say in Philly, it’s kind of our “Jawn.”
Understand that “Freedom” is a term that carries with it a real message of hope. In the church world we talk about “freedom” a lot, in particular the freedom that comes with knowing Jesus as one’s Savior.
Freedom in Christ has been the topic of gazillions of sermons, almost as many books, and was something that the apostle Paul wrote about quite extensively.
It sounds pretty good.
Some time back I read a book that focused on the matter of porn addiction and recovery. The title and authors aren’t important, and while it was a bit “out there” (to say the least), it raised some great questions.
Questions, by in large, revolving around the idea that if knowing Christ brings freedom, then why do so many Christian men (and women) find it seemingly impossible to escape the grasp of porn addiction?
Honestly, that’s a great question.
Let’s be real, the numbers aren’t favorable.
If you look at the current state of the church when it comes to the issues of porn it’s clear that there are not many people experiencing “freedom” in this area.
Additionally, while we do see some people who eventually find recovery, restoration, and “freedom,” the rate of success isn’t stellar.
I’d say by in large, more men end up giving up on their recovery rather than pursuing it to completion.
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Why is this?
Is it a problem with current recovery models?
Do we need to scrap our Bibles & delve deeper into psychology or other areas of spirituality?
Is it even possible to get free?
Is it something else?
That being said, I’m not going to tackle all of these questions nor am I going to offer my comprehensive definition of “freedom.”
However, I do want to give you three truths we need to remember about “freedom” that I believe apply both in the church and outside it.
Three truths that, I believe, if we fail to realize will skew our understanding of freedom and consequently cause us to throw up our hands in frustration and possibly even give up.
So again, here is a question we need to answer…
If a Christian is “free” in Christ then why do so many men and women continue to struggle with porn addiction?
Honestly, when you think about it, this is a valid question.
There are thousands of men and women going through life, seemingly not able to defeat their “porn demons.” Doesn’t seem like there is a whole lot of freedom going on.
Here’s the thing, while the Bible does say Jesus gives us freedom, it doesn’t guarantee that we’ll live in it.
Think about it.
For those of us who live in a “free” country, we may have the freedom to do what we want (except pay taxes … try that one and see how it goes) but yet many of us willingly subject ourselves to the power of others every day.
Take for instance a job.
Employment to a great extent is an infringement on our freedom. We daily, and willingly, subject our own will to that of our boss(es) in exchange for a paycheck.
Of course, we all need jobs to pay the bills but while a job does offer us an income it rarely offers us freedom.
When I was in the early stages of my freedom (from porn) I remember one time asking myself, “So does this mean I’ll never look at porn again?”
Honestly, the idea scared me a little. You see, while porn was a slave master I wanted to get rid of, it was also a source of comfort.
I had used porn for years to get through many tough times. Times when I was feeling stressed, angry, bored, or lonely.
Of course now, over ten years later, it doesn’t freak me out at all thinking that same thing. I don’t need that slave master anymore.
I’ve tasted freedom for some time now and freedom tastes good.
Why would I ever want to go back?
I honestly think a lot of people who struggle with porn are in this same boat I found myself in years ago. I believe if you asked them to get real honest, they would admit that they enjoy the comfort level porn use brings them.
Yes, they recognize that they are living in submission to a pretty brutal slave master, but in those moments of crisis and anxiety that “boss” seems pretty welcoming and kind.
It’s like a job.
A porn user gives up their freedom in exchange for something. That something is comfort.
Unless you’ve tasted and actually experienced real “freedom” the idea of a porn-free existence is a bit daunting.
Who’s going to be there when you are feeling lonely or anxious if not your welcoming master?
The key is this.
Don’t start your journey to freedom with a forever mindset (not at first).
Don’t worry about twenty years from now.
Worry about today, this week, this month, and so on.
It will take some time, but after enough time and healing, you will start to realize that you don’t need that slave master anymore. Eventually, you won’t want his comfort, and you will be able to look ahead and not fear a porn-free existence.
So, if you feel like you aren’t living in freedom …
– before you blame God,
– before you blame your spouse,
– before you abandon or reformulate your belief system,
Ask yourself, do I really want freedom or do I like the comfort that comes with being a slave?
I’ll be back with part two of this series next week!
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