Today’s message at BRV was not intended to addicts alone, but has great applicability for every person dealing with a dependency. The audio of the message will be available in a couple of days.
The structure of the message focused on 15 words that make it possible to go the distance in life. i have re-phrased them here as 6 qualities, indicating the core values _ if you will _ which lie at the heart of the matter. They are presented here in reverse order from that given by the speaker.
- Reality, Honesty
- Decision Making
A joyless life, who can bear? Our culture has a taste for cynicism and gloominess, which are often made to seem mature and sophisticated. But in truth, a lack of joy will result in resentment, which will harden us and leave us spent. So many addicts are joyless. It’s the cruel lie played out. The addiction, especially pornography, promises joy, excitement and fulfillment. It brings none of those things. It leaves us jaded; more cynical than when we started. And it increasingly robs us of the ability to experience joy at all.
Reality and honesty are crucial for the addict. Deception, duplicity and fantasy are the hallmarks of the porn addict’s life. It takes a certain amount of courage to be honest. Addicts lack that courage. But once truth telling breaks into an addicts world, the deception starts to crumble. Initially this is cause for fear in the addict’s heart. But the taste of freedom it brings is overwhelming.
Decision making _ also called stewardship in the talk today _ means learning to say “no” to some things. Having the wisdom to know what things to choose and say “Yes” to is challenging enough without the clouded mind and heart which come from indulging an addiction.
Prayer. Self explanatory.
Gratitude is somewhat of a lost art. But actually being thankful for things, from the simplest to the greatest, will change how you see yourself and the world. Am i entitled and angry, or am i grateful and at peace? For the addict, so much of the fuel for the behavior comes from a heart attitude of anger and entitlement.
Obedience is a tough word, even for people who are supposed to know how to do it because they know God _ at least somewhat. But saying “No” and “Yes” as per decision making, begs a deeper question: “To what things should i say “No” or “Yes?” The heart of the Father toward us is good, and saying “Yes” to Him is always they way in to a quality of life unmatched by anything in mere human terms.
As addicts we need these 6 qualities. It is a great lie we battle that we can have any of these qualities while indulging our addictions. There will be no Joy, Peace, Honesty, Clarity in decision making or deep satisfaction of any kind found in our addiction. The pages of the porn magazine; the scenes in a porn video; and the countless other places we might look for a little fleshy excitement and pleasure will lead us far away to cynical anger and grinding resentment that the world pisses us off and never really meets our needs or desires.
The path to real freedom is paved with these 6 qualities: Joy, Reality/Honesty, Decision Making, Prayer, Gratitude and Obedience.