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 a fellow addict is a priceless gift offered to the members of their recovery group. So when a man or woman tells the truth, we should listen. The shame and compounding pain of sexual sin has become too much to bear. Ultimately, through the recovery process group members will come to the end of themselves, and when they do, we are the blessed beneficiaries. They've had their fill of divorces, angry ex-spouses, 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 we are exceedingly privileged to witness the miraculous birth of their honest self-disclosure. These men and woman have arrived at Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” and must make one of two choices: continue doggedly down the path of addiction and destroy themselves, or 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 us do the right thing. When we choose Jesus and the community of faith, well, there are few words to describe the glorious event. Jesus put it this way…
“…there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
— Luke 15.7 NIV
When we make the connection between our addictive behavior patterns and unresolved emotional issues, a light bulb goes on in the 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 recovery and healing. We have embarked on the journey of self-discovery, and there’s no turning back. We don’t want to turn back. We’re 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, 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 we can find sobriety after decades of sexual addiction, we can be filled with optimism for a better future. We can 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, fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28.19 NIV).
We now know our lives matter to the Lord and to others, and we no longer feel like pathetic addicts or losers. We have become warriors for God with stories that impact other people for the better. We are able to help other struggling people find their own paths to recovery. For the first time in years, we recovering addicts can hold our heads high and proclaim with absolute assurance…
“He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.”
— Psalm 23.3 NKJV
423 Men and 423 Women offer real hope to hurting people.