Don’t Ever Be Ashamed
by Hafeez Baoku
As Christians, we should never be so ashamed of our sins that we’re afraid to admit our struggles to others. One of the ironic things about life is that some of the people whom we think are not struggling with sexual sin are those who struggle the most.
I experienced this during my first summer as a camp counselor.
While at camp, I had the opportunity to meet hundreds of young men from different parts of the country. In the fifth week of camp, I worked with a depressed camper named Tommy who confessed to me that he had been addicted to pornography for the past six years and hated himself because of it. Tommy was so upset with himself over his addiction that he had contemplated suicide on multiple occasions.
After sharing with Tommy about my past struggles with pornography and premarital sex, I assured him that the gospel of Jesus Christ had the power to overcome his problems. Yet Tommy still was unable to forgive himself; he still felt guilty for all the times that he had watched pornography. What was even worse about Tommy’s story was his fear that his twin brother Jackson would disown him if he ever found out about the addiction.
After learning that Jackson was also at the camp, I decided to talk to him about his personal walk with God and his struggles in life. Less than ten minutes into my conversation with Jackson, I found out that he also was struggling with an addiction to pornography, and I was the first person he had ever told about his struggles.
I was shocked when I heard this. Twin brothers who lived in the same house had been struggling with the same addiction to pornography (on the same computer) for the same number of years without the other’s knowledge. Stories like this should assure everyone that none of us is alone in our daily wrestles. Our brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors and coworkers struggle as well.
The biggest obstacle to sexual wholeness is silence and isolation in our sexual struggles. Studies show that 55 percent of college-age students hide their sexual behaviors from others. In order to overcome our problems, we shouldn’t retreat to a private island where there is no one to help; we need the helping hand of others. Being transparent with our problems is one of the most helpful ways of overcoming our struggles.
The Bible teaches that we should confess our sins and struggles instead of hiding them from others. A supernatural transformation occurs when we begin to bring our sins out in the open: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16).
I can attest to this supernatural healing, which makes a person feel as if a heavy weight has lifted off his or her chest. I experienced it when I found trustworthy people with whom I could be honest and transparent. If we’re not able to be vulnerable and open to the people in our lives now, we’ll not be able to be vulnerable with our spouses in the future. We must trust in the ones we love to accept us for who we are at our best of times and our worst of times.
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