Last week I heard a great interview on a local Christian station (WBCL) in regards to sexual addiction. The host (Lynne Ford) was talking to Dr. Mark Laaser, of Faithful and True Ministries, about his story, the issue of sexual addiction, and his new book, “Becoming a Man of Valor.”
I loved this interview. Very simple, yet deeply practical and insightful. I won’t repeat everything Dr. Laaser shares in the interview – you should really listen to it yourself – but I do want to highlight three questions he talks about in his book. These are questions, I totally agree with him on, that we all need to wrestle with in talking about sexual addiction (or any addiction) and our desire for freedom from said addiction.
Question 1: Do you want to get well?
Taken from the story of the man healed at the Pool in John 5, Dr. Laaser says this is where we need to start: do we truly want to be well. He notes that the word “well” (“healed”) means to attain total wholeness of mind, body, and spirit. Jesus isn’t offering us quick and temporary fix, He’s after deep and eternal change within us. Christ never imposes Himself on us, instead He draws near and asks us what our heart’s desire is. Based upon our answer, He takes action. When it comes to addictions, do we really want to be rid of them?
Question 2: What are you thirsty for?
Moving to John 4, Jesus encounters a Samaritan woman at a well. Thirsty, Jesus asks her for a drink. The conversation goes from simple thirst, to eternal quenching, and ends with worship. And still today, we are offered the same choice Christ offered to the woman: everlasting water or temporal water. We are a thirsty people, looking to be quenched by the things of this world but leaving empty and unsatisfied every time. When will we stop drinking from man-made wells and start gulping from the River that never runs dry? What are we filling ourselves with other than Jesus? What are we “medicating” ourselves with other than Jesus?
Question 3: Are you willing to die to yourself?
Ending with John 11, Dr. Laaser brings us to the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the grave. Knowing that we want to be whole, and willing to drink from Christ alone, now we must submit to our dying in order to be raised again. When Jesus gets word that Lazarus is ill, He intentionally stays put for two days before leaving. On the way, though, Lazarus dies, and in this Jesus rejoices in that now God may be Glorified in what will soon take place. Jesus reaches the tomb, removes the stone, and raises Lazarus to new life. But this new life wouldn’t have happened if Lazarus hadn’t first died to his old one. In order for Christ’s resurrection power to transform us, and manifest in us, we must first die to ourselves: pride, addiction, selfishness, bitterness, anger, greed … pick any sin. In death, we are raised to new life. Are we willing, then, to die in order to attain the new life we are seeking?
In Christ we have:
- a new understanding
- a new strength
- a new awareness
- a new focus
- a new purpose
- a new life
- a new thirst
- a new desire
- a new Love