Jim loves God. He appears to love his wife and kids very much; he’s a leader in the church. He looks a lot like you and me.
Jim, however, has a secret. He’s been living a double life for some time. At first it bothered him a lot, but not so much anymore—he has developed a calloused heart. His conscience is seared from neglect.
That could explain why he is so indifferent to a sin that is eroding the very foundation of who he is and what he says he values most. It would not be near as hard to understand if he was faithless, foolish, or openly rebellious. While people tell him he’s a “good man” all the time, Jim knows he is living in a house of cards. He has been keeping up the façade for so long that even he’s been able to compartmentalize his sin. That’s why Jim did not confess, but had to get caught.
The World’s Perspective: Recovery
The world would say Jim is a sex addict. He is driven by a desire that he cannot control. He can’t help himself, at least not without sex addiction counseling. Even then he will always be an “addict in recovery” at best.
There are no shortage of theories about the physiology, emotional dysfunction, and addictive cycle of a person struggling with pornography. We can learn from this for sure, but the issue goes deeper. Jim is in trouble.
He is “addicted,” but, unless we look past the symptoms and cycles of behavior, we too will be tempted to think there is little hope for real freedom. The revolving door of recovery dooms him to a more damaging cycle of conforming, performing, falling, shame, more sin, more therapy, more performing…where is the hope in that?