This story is real - existing in fact, happening, actual, honest, truthful. For so long, the church has put up a front – wanting to be holy, setting up a perception of such, and forgetting along the way, how imperfect they really are. Therefore, they have built up taboos – setting apart as a thing as sacred or hateful, unspeakable or unacceptable – because of this, it is hard for people to be “real!”
I have found that healing comes from honesty. When one person starts to be honest, then it takes on a domino effect! When one shares their most real, raw struggles, past or present, then others see this vulnerability as a chance to open up and start a path of healing.
I remember the first time I spoke in a service and shared my personal struggle with pornography – afterwards there was a young man who came to me and began to spill about his own struggle with porn and masturbation. He had never felt comfortable sharing with anyone. He saw me as approachable, because I had been so open and he knew that there would not be condemnation or judgment from me, because of my sins! This man had grown up in a Christian home and brought up in a Pentecostal church – which should be full of the gifts of the Spirit and love of Christ. Why had it taken him so long to share? Where was his pastor? Youth pastor? Father? My opinion is that he could not share because of these taboos! Because of the shame brought on by the condemnation from society and the church.
While society becomes more tolerant and accepting, I believe the church is stuck, when they should not be afraid to let down their “holy” exterior and be honest with themselves. As God searches us, we should search our hearts and feel comfortable enough to confess our sins without persecution or condemnation. I’m not saying that the church should “accept” anything as doctrine that is not biblical, but we should not judge to the point where people aren’t able to be open about their struggles or sins – no matter how “taboo.” They should be able to come to the church, without rejection, to receive the proper Godly advice, direction, and even counseling to work through their deviant cycles, to understand their triggers, to learn to live an open, honest, and free life from sin, and to testify of God’s restoration and redeeming power!
So this, my story, is for family, past, present, and future friends, strangers, acquaintances – anyone who is struggling, hurt, alone, hungry, curious, real, or even fake! It is just a short synopsis of my struggles and addictions, where they have brought me, and God’s constant, sovereign work in my life. A real story, meant to open doors and avenues, start discussions, answer questions, kill the taboos, and break the hush!