Honesty sucks. Telling the truth can be an absolutely terrifying experience. Whether it is you telling your spouse you cheated on them, telling the girl you like how you feel about her, or recognizing that your life is a wreck. I’d like to focus on the last one. Honesty with one’s self. I’ll share a story with you. For the past 4 years I’ve been addicted to pornography and masturbation. Not a day went by without me needing to get my fix. Day in, day out, multiple times a day. It left my life in ruins. But I never told myself I was addicted. I was too afraid to believe that I was actually addicted to pornography. It was a terrifying thought. So I began to live the life of a lie. I told everybody I knew that I was a Christian, and that I loved Christ, and that never in a million years would I watch porn. I even convinced myself of all of those. Weird, right? But I was lying. I was not a Christian. I did not love Christ. I didnt just watch pornography. I was an addict. A slave. Welcome to my life, up to 3 months ago.
Being dishonest with yourself is the worst thing you can do. Dishonesty with yourself leads to justification. “Just this one time. It can’t possibly hurt. Just this once and I’ll be done forever. Okay? Okay.” How many times I remember those exact words… Anyways. Dishonesty leads to justification. Justification leads to self hatred. Self hatred leads to turning away from God. It pushes you to pursue the fleeting pleasures in life in order to fill the void that was God. And those pleasures become idols. And you become a slave to your idols. Kinda a bleak, hopeless outlook on life, huh? Yeah. Its like a very twisted, dark, DirecTV commercial. Hopefully someone out there gets that reference 🙂 But anyways. In writing this, I was instantly struck with something. I remember some lyrics from this really obscure metal band. Something about Burning August or something? Yeah. Someone will have to tell me who that band is. The line is:
“The truth hurts. But denial’s what will kill you.”
My mind explodes at all the directions I could approach this from. This is perhaps one of the greatest lines on truth and dishonesty I have ever come across. The first part of this is certainly true. Who likes the truth? The truth sucks.No one likes to hear how much they screwed up. No one likes to hear how we can’t do this by ourselves. Oh how many times have I tried, and every time failed, because I wanted to do something without knowing how to do it. It sucks. It really does. But as Christians, we must accept that we are weak and powerless. Who likes to hear that? No one. But its nonetheless true. “Denial’s what will kill you.” Denial. The act of refusing to accept the reality of something. In effect, denial and dishonesty are twins. They both cloud your reality. To quickly throw in another line from another band, “we have all heard what we wanted to hear- truth that sounds right to our ears.” Our imperfect, flawed, biased ears. Of course this truth sounds right! Because it’s not truth at all! Its what we want truth to be. Sorry, no can do, GI. Truth is Truth. There is one absolute Truth and it is found in God alone. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes through the father except through me.'” John 14:6. Going back to the lyrics. “Denial’s what will kill you.” A little harsh? Perhaps. True? Without question.
3 months ago, I realized I had a problem. I realized that my life was a train wreck. No one can honestly say that chasing girls, pornography and masturbation is a rewarding a fulfilling life. It even sounds dumb writing it. And not only did I realize I had a problem, I realized that without the grace of God, I would continue to be in slave to sin. You know one thing I never mentioned through all of this though? While honesty SUCKS, it also one of the greatest feelings in the world. Knowing that by the grace of God, the veils have been lifted from your eyes, and you are now able to confront everything that has defined you. I honestly can say that as of July 7th, when I accepted Jesus Christ as the savior of my life, I have never been happier. It’s hard to explain. But I am filled with love. I know I dont need these worldly, fleshly temptations to fill the void of God anymore. And if it wasnt for the grace God has given me, I wouldnt not be able to unashamedly tell you my story. I’ll be the first to tell you that I made a ton of mistakes. But I will be the last person to tell you I overcame them myself. Thats all God’s doing. I feel so free. I think John was on to something when he said “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Honesty with yourself is so much more difficult than honesty with others. Recognizing you have a problem is the hardest thing to accept, and being humble and honest by recognizing you cant do it alone is harder. The first step in recovery to any addiction or struggle is accepting you have a problem. Luckily, we have an amazing and loving God to help us through all of our worst times, a God that will never forsake us and leave us. I love you all so very much and will pray for you, as I hope you will pray for me as well. God Bless.
Your brother in Christ,