There is nothing on this planet more exhilarating to me than the joy of observing a person getting free from the bondage of addiction. Witnessing honest self-disclosure from the lips of an addict is a priceless gift he chooses to offer the members of his recovery group. When an addict tells the truth, you should listen. The shame and compounding pain of sexual sin has become too much for her to bear. Ultimately, men and women in recovery come to the end of themselves, and when they do, you are the blessed beneficiary. They've had their fill of divorces, angry ex-wives and ex-husbands, unhappy kids, car wrecks, job losses, broken friendships, meaningless flings, unfulfilled potential, and feelings of self-loathing. They are confronted by the “Man in the Mirror” and you are exceedingly privileged to witness the miraculous birth of their honest self-disclosure. These addicts have arrived at Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” and must make one of two choices. They will continue doggedly down the path of addiction and destroy themselves, or they will cast themselves upon the mercy of Jesus and at the feet of their brothers or sisters in recovery. The choice is theirs, and theirs alone. God will not make a man or woman do the right thing. When an addict chooses Jesus and the community of faith, well, there are few words to describe the glorious event. Jesus put it this way…
When a man makes the connection between his addictive behavior patterns and his unresolved emotional issues, a light bulb goes on in his brain. Angels rejoice. It’s a miracle, a revelation, a moment of truth, an epiphany, an ‘aha’ event imparting a lifetime of hope. Nothing now matters more than his recovery and healing. The woman has embarked on the journey of self-discovery, and there’s no turning back. She doesn’t want to turn back. She’s getting free from porneia’s godless grip, at last!
Men and women walking in freedom from sexual sin…
- Can look others in the eye with confidence
- No longer fear being discovered
- Quit lying
- Become the same guy or gal on the inside as they are on the outside
- Are not ashamed of themselves
- Are no longer enslaved to sex
- Smile sincerely at themselves and others
- Hear the voice of God’s affirmation, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
- Are an active force in advancing the Kingdom of God on earth
- Think kindly and fondly of themselves and others
- Find hope and a purpose for living
- Become bold as lions
For most guys and gals, the benefits of freedom from slavery, under the heavy-handed tyranny of porneia, provide enough motivation to remain on the journey of self-discovery. Effective recovery programs like 423 Men and 423 Women do not solve the emotional problems of every person, nor do they solve a person's every emotional problem, but they do offer hope. If men and women can find sobriety after decades of sexual addiction, they are filled with optimism for a better future. They are able to advance with confidence to the front lines of ministry. Recovering addicts can make a difference and confidently leave the world a better place than they found it. They are fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28.19 NIV). They now know their lives matter to the Lord and to others. They no longer feel like pathetic addicts or losers. They have become a man or woman of God with a story that impacts other people for the better. They can now help other struggling people find their own paths to recovery. For the first time in as long as they can remember, these recovering addicts can hold their heads high and proclaim with absolute assurance…
423 Men and 423 Men offer real hope to hurting men and women.
 “Man in the Mirror” was a hit song peaking at number 1 when released in January 1988. It was written by Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett and popularized by Michael Jackson.
 American blues artist Robert Johnson recorded Delta Blues style “Cross Road Blues” in 1936. Although the lyrics make no reference to the transaction, myth has it that Mr. Johnson sold his soul to the Devil at the crossroads of US 61 and US 49 in Clarksdale, Mississippi, in exchange for his popular musical talents.
 From Jesus’ parable of the talents, Matthew 25.14-30 NIV (v. 23) and parallel passage in Luke 19.11-26.