Friday, December 19, 2014

The Cosby Dilema


     Several women have surfaced and re-surfaced alleging that America's beloved and now beleaguered Bill Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them. This isn't Mr. Cosby's first go-round with such accusations. Almost a decade ago, he was in the headlines for similar reasons. Could it be true that "Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable," our Jell-O pudding spokesperson, the voice of the cartoon character Fat Albert, is guilty of these sex crimes? If he is, I wouldn't be surprised.
     I am not saying that these women are right, I am not saying Mr. Cosby is guilty, I have no evidence to determine such things. What I'm saying is, if it turned out to be true, it wouldn't shock me. I am not taken a back by anyone's shattered persona anymore, because that is how sex addiction works. Someone who is caught in the throes of sex addiction often has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde existance.  And to be able to live with himself, Dr. Jekyll has to be in deep denial about Mr. Hyde. Acknowledging that Hyde-like behavior is real is too painful, too conflicting so there has to be a seperation of the two personalities to be able to co-exist in the same head and heart. The longer the bad behavior has been present, the deeper the denial, which literally makes it impossible for the sex addict to be truthful. And the more there is to lose, the deeper that denial goes.
     This is the case for many pastors. They can preach the word of God with great conviction on Sunday mornings, but on Monday they are locked in their office looking at pornography. And for others, justification has taken them down the path of adultery, but the price of coming clean is too high; their ministry, their livelihood, their marriages, they fear, would all be gone. So they dig deeper into that cavern of denial. They are fooled into thinking that living a lie is easier than living in the freedom of truth. And some have been in the throes of sexual addiction so long, they simply do not have the capacity to be truthful. That is why many people have to be caught before change can happen. It doesn't have to be that way, but, sadly, that's the way it is for many.
     Before recovery, I fooled myself into thinking that because I hadn't spoken any lies to my wife, I wasn't lying to her. But not being forthright about my secret sins was leading her to believe things were one way when they were really another. That's deception, and that is living a lie. Not at all what God wants for His children. Thinking I wasn't lying to my wife was one form of denial present in my life. Denial is powerful. It gives us a sense of safety. We use it to protect ourselves from painful truths and realities. But what denial really does is keep people stuck and removed from a genuine life and authenticity.
     Someone may be reading this article right now with denial walls erected all around them. I say "sex addiction" and they think "not me." So, when is addiction present? When there is repeated behavior that is contrary to one's morals or belief systems, usually done in secret, and if it was found out, it would cause great pain to loved ones. Is there a combination of any of these elements in your life? If so, God is calling you out from behind the walls of denial. There is hope. Living an authentic life is so much better than living in deceit with secrets, no matter how high the cost seems in being truthful. Nothing good grows in the dark. There is healing to be had but you need to step out into the light.
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