Being alone: The first bad thing God noticed
In Genesis 2:18, God noticed the first bad thing he had encountered since creating the universe. Up until this point, he had looked at all of creation and declared it "very good." But now he sees a problem: "It is not good for the man to be alone."
Just like the Triune God -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit -- whose image we're made in, we are built for community. God knew this, so he began searching for a helper suitable for Adam. When none was found among all the wild animals and birds of the sky, he took one of Adam's ribs and made Eve. A family was formed.
God knew that feeling alone is devastating to the human mind. Can you recall a time in your childhood when you felt alone, unprotected and outside the herd? For me, it was the time in middle school when my "friends" decided it would be funny to leave me sitting by myself during recess. They were all talking on the gym bleachers, acting normal, as I sat down beside them. As soon as my butt hit the bleachers, they all stood up and left without saying a word. I was crushed. For decades to come, I carried the lie that moment created within me: "I am different in a bad way."
When we endure the trauma of isolation, we'll often do almost anything to make the feeling of loneliness go away. It can seem like a life and death matter. One way many people learn to escape this pain, if only for a few minutes or hours, is by losing themselves in the sexual fantasies offered by pornography. The problem, of course, is that we're still alone after we finish masturbating, except now we feel even more shame. Satan quickly seizes this foothold in our lives and his whispered lies penetrate our hearts. "You're a bad person," he tells us. "You're a failure. God is so disappointed in you. You are worthless. If your friends and family really knew you, they would reject you."
LIES! LIES! LIES! Satan is a liar!
Our identity and our worth is determined by only one thing: what God says about us. It isn't determined by our performance, by our failures or by what other people might think of us. It is determined by God alone. And God tells us in Romans 8:1-2 "there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death." When we put our faith in Jesus, all God sees in us is a beloved son, in whom he is well pleased! That is your identity, no matter how many hours you may have spent watching porn, how many anonymous hookups you may have had or how many times you may have been sexually abused as a child.
The simple truth is that trauma isolates and connection heals. We have the capacity to heal one another just by allowing the God Image within us to be present with the wounded around us. That's why there is great power in a support group. When Patrick Carnes, the founding father of sexual addiction therapy, studied more than 1,000 sex addicts, he found two actions that best predicted an addict's likelihood of gaining lasting sobriety: reliance on God and participation in a recovery group.
If you're still trying to find freedom from porn addiction all by yourself, I have some bad news for you: it won't work. You WILL NOT overcome this addiction alone. The first step toward recovery is always asking another person for help. This is a journey that must be taken "with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart." (2 Timothy 2:22) There are plenty of support groups available in which you can be fully known AND fully loved, no matter what you may have done in the depths of your addiction. I routinely lead online support groups organized by The Freedom Fight and I'd love for you to join one that starts soon, but there are many other ways to get involved in a group. Here are just a few:
If you'd like to talk about your next step toward recovery, please schedule a free coaching session with me now.