Getting Real

One of the biggest struggles for men who need to come clean about their involvement with pornography is simply telling the truth.

The inclination toward deception pulls like the world’s largest magnet on our souls. Shame, embarrassment an guilt all mount against us — so we become well practiced at hiding.

So when men gather for accountability, the first problem usually is that they don’t get real with one another; they dance around the edges of their problem, using euphemisms and vague language.

That serves only to reinforce the hiding and the addiction.

It’s time to apply the truth of a Latin phrase esse quam videri which means: to be, rather than to seem or appear. In essence, be authentic, don’t put on a show and keep up an appearance.

Many men are striking a pose for the world; they present a persona that seems to the world to be strong, confident and in charge.  Among Christian men, that pose also includes the appearance of righteousness and purity.

i know, i used to do that. And, from all accounts, i was pretty good at the appearance part of it.  When the truth of my pornography addiction came to light, so many were shocked and said things like: “i never would have guessed that was a problem for you.”

So fast forward now to current day. The importance of esse quam videri is constant. It drives my interactions with people, even my kids.  For example, driving in the car recently with one of my sons, the topic of the sexuality in our culture arose.

In the old days, i would have danced around the issue with regard to my involvement with pornography. But not anymore. Authenticity must win out, it’s what my sons need from their father.

And so i spoke very honestly. Not inappropriate details, but honest admissions. It gave my son the freedom to talk about what he struggles with growing up in our pornified culture.

But also crucially important was the fact that could say, without pretending, that i no longer look at pornography; there is a righteousness i have been given and i live out of it by making choices daily that honor God, my wife and my kids.

Before my healing, i would have felt the need to sound righteous and pure.  Now, because of the authentic work of God in healing my heart, i can say it without pretense.

I am, rather than seeming or simply appearing to be something. I am.

3 Responses to “Getting Real”

  1. mwgrigs

    Interestingly, the notion of esse quam videri has been a “radioactive” topic for me these past several weeks. I have shared with many others of the importance of dealing with things as they are, not as we hope them to be. I stumbled across you blog on a web search for dealing with the fear of rejection; “seeming to be” rather “being,” plays out hugely in that fear. Thanks for sharing!

    • james tarring cordrey

      thanks for reading. and thanks for working through a “radioactive” topic and pushing forward into dealing with your fears. this is a huge step towards health that many are not willing to take. fear of rejection is a very powerful and toxic thing.


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