by Frank Honess
I once heard it said that the greatest reason we forgive is not necessarily for the other person’s benefit, but for our own healing. What I think we often forget is that forgiveness comes with a cost attached to it. It means that we refuse to hold onto the offense, hurt, regret, or anger we so desperately think belongs to us.
For so many of us who once struggled with a sexual addiction — and for many who still do — the sparks that triggered the addiction came a well of hurt and pain in our lives. Much of the pain we felt was self-inflicted, caused by our own decisions. Some of that pain was caused by the hands of others. Either way, from the pain and traumas we have experienced in life, many of us try and soothe the pain through using porn or having casual sex. For others, it’s fantasizing about the opposite sex or the same sex.
And while these kind of addictions have devastated our lives and cause major problems, I would suggest that there is much greater collateral damage caused by things such as anger, resentment, jealousy, and bitterness in the deep recesses of our hearts.
Jesus came to offer Himself so that we didn’t have to be eternally separated from God. We now had a choice in the matter. It’s also so important we realize that He came to take away the shame that we feel from our sin. This includes our deepest hurts and pains.
Seeing that we have been shown unprecedented grace from an unfathomable Forgiver, why do we withhold that same kind of forgiveness from ourselves and others? I think for many, the thought is that their sexual struggles are too dark, too dirty, or just unforgivable. Or, if they have been hurt by others, it’s impossible to trust again.
All of these are real mindsets. But the greater reality lies in the fact that while God has forgiven us of our sexual sins, when we choose to forgive ourselves and others we experience incredible healing from sexual addiction.
One of the greatest resources I’ve used personally to understand that forgiveness is very much apart of my recovery is X3pure. X3pure is an incredible online workshop that takes individuals dealing with sexual brokenness on a journey towards recovery by educating them on what sexual addiction really is and how to heal from it.
In addition to learning the “how-to’s” and the practical stuff for abstaining from porn use, I learned the “whys” to where my addiction really came from — that includes the traumas and pain I experienced in life. It was truly a lifesaver for me to walk through the X3pure workshop.
Grace and forgiveness has been freely given to us for all of our failures. It’s time we learn to truly accept that forgiveness and offer it freely to others!