In Boredom and the Battle for Sexual Integrity, we challenged you to study Brad Hambrick’s article on 19 Possible Motives Triggering Your Porn Consumption. In it, he points to 2 Corinthians 11:30, “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.”
The question he asks us to consider is, “Are you willing to boast (verbally put on public display) your weakness as a way to make Christ more known and live in more authentic relationships? That is the only freedom that will allow you to enduringly enjoy what you are seeking in sexual sin.”
Boasting in your weakness to make Christ known is the way to freedom.
Men, if you feel weak sometimes, you are in good company. I expect we would all agree that Paul was one of the most devoted servants of the Kingdom. After his conversion, he lived and worked with the singular purpose to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet by his own admission he experienced weakness.
“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
We see a remarkable progression from Paul first asking for the thorn in his flesh to be removed, then becoming content, and even boasting in his weakness so that Christ’s power can be manifest in him. If we are honest, most of us would rather hide our weakness than boast in it, yet Paul’s example shows us the truth that Christ shows his strength through our weakness.
When it comes to the pursuit of sexual integrity, the destination is worth the journey, even when it feels challenging to get there. The guys I know who have faced that battle and are truly walking in freedom didn’t get there without going through a tough, painful period of confession, repentance, and even humiliatingly honest transparency. But to a man, they will all note that walking through that valley allowed them to get to a place where habitual sin no longer controlled them, and they were able to walk upright in the glory of God’s forgiveness and grace.
But they didn’t do it in their own strength – and that’s good news.
In other words, they had to come to a point of boasting only in their weakness to find their hope in Christ. By depending on our human wisdom and relying on our own strength, we are primed for repeat failure. When our boast is in Christ alone, we can make him known, find more authentic relationships, and find true freedom.
You have the tools, so what’s holding you back? Don’t let shame or the fear of revealing a “secret” sin keep you from walking in freedom. Are you weak enough to depend on God alone? To let his strength manifest in your life? Find a trusted brother or pastor, boast in your weakness, and allow God’s strength to move in you.