The way in which we identify ourselves is pivotal in the thinking process of various choices we make concerning our behavior and the focus of our thought lives. This week I was reading “When Good Men are Tempted” by Bill Perkins, and in his introduction he suggests that the core issue of a man with sexual sin is not his behavior, rather it is how he identifies himself.
I want to suggest that the way we indentify ourselves directly contributes toward our behavior and life choices. We have heard the statement “once and alcoholic, always an alcoholic,” and though I understand what is meant here is that a person who has developed a dependence or addiction to the abuse of alcohol can never drink alcohol again or he may ruin his sobriety; if one thinks of himself as an “alcoholic” his thinking and behavior can contribute to relapse. If one were to think of himself as a “sex addict,” even if in recovery, his thoughts and behaviors are that of a sex addict. In both of these examples the person identifies with the negative behavior.
Consider if we change our identification from the behavior toward something more positive, for instance, instead of identifying with “sex addiction,” we identify with being a “man of God with sexual integrity.” Now when we encounter life situations instead of the struggle through the thought process of a sex addict, we think “how does a man of God with sexual integrity think in a situation as this?” or “What would a man of God with sexual integrity do in a situation like this?”
Our identification becomes a positive one instead of a negative one. Our identification contributes to a decrease in relapse and an increase in sobriety. It is my hope that when people see the Clean Heart for Men logo, they think, “those are men of God with sexual integrity,” not those are the sex addicts or any other negative connotation. It is my hope that men can wear the Clean Heart logo with pride and not hide it with shame. It is my hope that when a single woman see’s a single man wearing the Clean Heart for Men logo, she thinks “that is the type of man I would like to get to know,” when women see one of their friend’s husband wearing the Clean Heart for Men logo, they think, “she is one blessed woman.”
You see, when we come to know Christ, we no longer identify ourselves with sin but with Jesus. We pattern our lives and thoughts after Jesus Christ. When we become part of Clean Heart for Men, we pattern our lives and thoughts after a man of God with sexual integrity. What do you identify with?