While I waited for Mark’s call in my bedroom I thought about how what I was about to do was the complete opposite of what I was used to doing there. Sure I was nervous and scared but I was also incredibly excited and hopeful.
Knowing that Mark was going to call and ask me questions about my week specifically if I had looked at porn made me feel safe then vulnerable but ultimately confident. Normally I would hide away in my room creating a wall of secrets as I sat with my trousers around my ankles viewing porn. That day was different. That day I was opening up my life to someone like I had never done before.
From spending hours in my room feeling a mixed bag of emotions that usually ranged from ecstasy then shame; to a mixed bag of emotions that made me feel afraid but hopeful.
From creating secrets to exposing them.
This was my first experience of accountability.
And it changed everything.
Working with xxxchurch, writing blogs and leading an x3group online I have seen the power that being open with other people can have. I have seen men literally go from looking at porn several times a day to sobriety for months and even years.
I believe in opening ourselves up to a few close people in our lives we release a power that was previously untapped. I believe when you are stuck in certain behaviours that you want to stop like porn, the first and most important step is being open with someone. I believe you will remain stuck unless you do. I also believe it is one of the most terrifying things a person can do.
But…I also believe accountability is about more. It’s about showing that you can be real with someone and still be accepted and loved. It’s about encouraging other people to be honest about their lives. It’s about rejoicing and standing by people when they need you the most. It’s about discovering that the fears you have are pretty common and you aren’t alone.
Accountability won’t solve all your problems. That’s not the point. It’s about allowing the true you be seen and heard by others.
When I heard that Craig (of xxxchurch.com) was releasing a new book on the topic of accountability called ‘Open’ I was pretty excited. I still am. The book is great and is taking a topic that most of us want to be good at but where we often can’t get out of 1st gear.
I am privileged to be part of a team who will be tweeting, facebooking, blogging and telling their grandma all about the book in the coming weeks. So to that end I’ll be starting a series on accountability sort of like a review and thoughts on the book brought to life with my own stories of accountability. If there is one word that is considered dirty in church other than porn or sex its accountability. But it’s time to rethink it. To open it up and get honest and real with ourselves and each other.
It’s time to be open.
And that’s no secret.