Written by Jack


In the fight with addiction, I tend to focus on my failures and not give God thanks for the many successes that I have. If I slip up, I can get frustrated or disheartened. But God calls us to focus on his blessings. Whenever the tribes of Israel traveled God commanded that Judah should lead. In Hebrew Judah means praise. God wanted Israel to lead with praise when they traveled or went into battle. I think I often lead with complaints and demands when I speak with God.

They set out, this first time, at the Lord’s command through Moses. The divisions of the camp of Judah went first, under their standard. Nahshon son of Aminadab was in command. Numbers 10: 13-14

Why did this happen? Why can’t you fix my problems? If you do this, then I will do that. When I focus on my failures, I miss the many victories that God has given me the grace to win. God, thank you that I didn’t buy ….. when I was at the store. God thank you that when I tried to talk to my “friend” ….. I couldn’t find them. God thank you that you gave me the power to pray…. God thank you that I talked on the phone with …. God thank you that I got an email today from…..God thank you that I had time to read scripture today…..God thank you that I only did this …when I usually do that.

Many times, I am looking for perfection in my recovery. But where in my life am I perfect? My marriage? If that was my standard, I don’t think I would have lasted a week. My job? I don’t think so. I would have been on the corner with a sign a long time ago. God knows we are not perfect. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23 If you slip up welcome to the club. It is easy to try and compare ourselves to others or to some false standard and think we are failures. You see that guy down the street or that friend at work. They look perfect. They must have it all going on. God tells us we all struggle. We are all in a battle with something in this life.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10

Another lie I like to tell myself is that I am unique and special. No one else has had these issues. I have unique temptations and I should get a pass on them. It can lead me to a pity party. But what I am experiencing is actually common. Others have struggled with it. I can too. I can get back up and keep going.

No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Everyone has a struggle. Even when I fail God will give me the strength to prevail if I turn to Him and don’t give up. The battle for purity is a long one and any man who enters the arena expecting to go unscathed will soon surrender to discouragement. In fact, the man who makes moral flawlessness his goal will fall into despair as quickly as the athlete who never expects to face defeat. (Fr. Jacques Philippe) Getting out of cross dressing is a process not a one-day thing. People need to cooperate but most don’t want to cooperate. Feel good about yourself if you are continuing to push forward despite setbacks, many do not.

Not too long ago I was talking with someone online. We were very similar in our backgrounds, our family relationships, and our attractions. They told me about where their addiction had led them. It was to more extreme and darker behaviors than I had gone to. It was to things I had thought about but not acted on. The only explanation I have for not going there is God. By His grace I went on a different path. Thank you, God, for leading me.

A lot of times I feel I am so flawed that I have no business trying to follow God. I think I need to be some type of near perfect man to turn to God. This is not the case. One of my favorite stories from the Bible is the story of Samson (Judges 13-16). Most people just know of Samson as the guy with long hair who killed a lion. Samson was chosen by God to lead the Israelite people from birth. He was called to be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death. Samson had one big issue; he was attracted to Philistine women. This led him into all kinds of trouble. If he would have just settled down with a nice Israelite woman, things would have gone a lot smoother for him. We all have issues and a lot of them are sexual in some way. This flaw eventually led Samson to be captured by the enemies of his nation, have his hair cut (the source of his strength), and have his eyes gouged out. Cross dressing may be bad but it hasn’t caused that type of tragedy in my life. After Samson had his hair cut the Bible states; the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house. Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven. God didn’t forget Samson in his failure. In fact, God returned to Samson in his disgrace. God gave him strength in his captivity and Samson slew more of his enemies in his death then in his entire life. God can use our lowest moments to help us return to Him.

In the book Forged, Matt Fradd talks about how strong our addictions to a specific behavior are. He states that most of us make the mistake of measuring our addictions by how often we fall. He says this is a poor measure of our level of addiction. The true measure is are we able to say no when temptations come. For example, a person who is truly tempted only once a year but gives in every time is more addicted than a person who is truly tempted every day but only falls once a month. At first glance this didn’t seem to make sense to me but when I put some numbers to it, it was clearer. If you are tempted daily and only fall once a month, after a year you have 353 victories and 12 failures. If you are tempted once a year and give in every time, you have no victories and 1 failure. Just looking at the failures is misleading. If you asked an athletic coach how many loses he had and he said 12, would this be good or bad? If he was in the NFL, he would probably lose his job. If he was in MLB, he would be the best ever. The fight rages. We fall. We get back up. We praise God for being with us. We ask for forgiveness. We battle on. Let Judah lead!


Written by Jack

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