We hide behind our careers, our gadgets, our image, our prestige, our reputations and any other thing which gives us a sense of confidence. Adam was the first to fashion a fig leaf for his covering, but he was by no means the last. The generations of men since Adam have all become skilled craftsmen.
I labored for years under the burden of “what will others think of me?” And it took a huge toll. It was the fear of what others would think which produced great shame within me over my involvement with pornography. I had to keep that a secret. I knew full well the scorn, the guilt and the loss of face I would endure if a revealed the full extent of my indulgence. Even more disturbing would be if I admitted how much I really liked pornography. A Christian man may admit to viewing the material, but he is expected to not enjoy it too much. Rather, he is supposed to hate the fact that he is tempted by it. He is supposed to be grieved at the sin of it.
But if the truth had really been known during the days of my acting out, the only thing I really hated about pornography was not the pornography itself. I hated the fact that I was not allowed to enjoy it. I hated that each time I ran to it, I eventually had to stop looking at it and go back to my life. Sure, I hated myself for being like this. And I was miserable because of my duplicitous life. But pornography itself I did not hate. And so I hid the truth.
The addiction was a form of hiding as well. I ran to it to hide from reality. I used porn to hide from responsibility. I used it to hide from the demands of life which kept exposing that I was not really a man. Pornography was my escape and my medication. Just a little to ease the ache inside. The ache of not measuring up. The ache of great disappointment as a result of living in a broken world with flawed people.
And because the addiction thrives on secrecy, we need to bring everything out into the open. No hiding. This is required in the journey to freedom.