July 11th 2023
#267: The Connection Between Confidence & Sexual Integrity
What does it truly mean to walk in sexual integrity, and how can confidence play a vital role in this journey?
Discover how our own sense of goodness and value can greatly impact our ability to love and be loved.
In our conversation, we unpack the connection between our desire for goodness, the attractiveness of others, and the importance of cultivating a deep-rooted confidence that is essential for walking in sexual integrity.
Embracing Jesus and recognizing His infinite goodness is key to becoming whole.
In this episode, we explore the importance of receiving Jesus as a gift, praising Him, and striving to become more like Him.
Tune in as we share valuable insights and resources from Regeneration Ministries that can help guide you on your journey towards a more whole and confident self.
With these tools and the support of a like-minded community, you can learn to walk in sexual integrity with confidence.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
What We Discuss:
- 00:16 – If you want to walk in sexual integrity.
- 02:29 – Do you see yourself as a good gift?
- 04:09 – Love is confident and love requires confidence.
- 05:43 – Why are we so drawn to attractive people?
- 07:59 – The desire to be good and good gifts.
- 09:15 – Confident love is confident.
- 10:18 – We reach for and meditate on the good.
Transcription: The Connection Between Confidence and Sexual Integrity
Josh: Hey, everybody, glad you’re with me again. Hey, last week I talked about the role of our own sense of interior goodness, our own sense of goodness as far as in how it relates to our desire for our spouse. There’s just something good in that that I thought was worth revisiting. This week. I want to spend some more time on that because I think it’s going to really be helpful to you, as I know it’s helpful for me and my own considerations about my struggles with lust and the journey that I’ve been on for the last 20, 30 years with that.
Josh: Let me start with this kind of premise statement and I’m going to unpack it for you. The premise statement is this that if you want to walk in sexual integrity, you’ve got to be confident. If you want to walk in sexual integrity, you’ve got to be confident. Now I know we live in a culture that talks a lot about confidence. We want to build yourself up, get to the gym, succeed in life, be confident. A lot of times when we’re talking about that, we’re really talking about pretending to be confident, like fake it till you make it kind of confidence. What I mean by confidence here is really that kind of deep sense of rootedness, of groundedness in your own value, your own worth, a deep in your bones sense, in your gut sense that God has made you and that you are good. Again, like I said last week, by good here I don’t just mean that I feel good or I feel positive or in some kind of generic way that I’m good, but rather that when you go shopping for fruit and you find a good piece of fruit, what you mean by that word goodness there is that this fruit is what it’s designed to be and it is ripe and it is ready and it is sweet. It’s a good piece of fruit or a good cut of meat. You know what I mean. It’s interesting that I’m using food there I’m going to come back to that in a minute because there’s something in us that I think desires to be good. In that sense, this is a good. I am good Deep inside my bones. I am good When I come into the world and I interact with other people or I say hello to people at my work, or I give my wife a hug, or I kiss my children, or my children come in with a question and I answer their questions, or I talk to them, or when I ask them on a date if I’m single, or when I get rejected, somebody says I don’t want to go on a second date. That’s something inside of us would still deeply know that we are valuable, that we are good.
Josh: In the beginning, when God created all of creation, over and over again, as he created creation, the different aspects of creation, the scriptures say he saw what he had made and it was good. It was good. It was good. The next, after he created man and woman, the scripture flips and it says behold, it was very good, very good. What was the difference? Well, all of creation was completed. God had made everything, so it all fit together and worked in unison, but also human beings were in the picture, and now it is very good.
Josh: In your journey towards sexual integrity, let me just ask you to answer this question, to consider, not for me, but to consider in the quietness of your own heart do you see yourself as good? Do you feel yourself to be good? Do you believe yourself to be Good, regardless of what other people are saying, regardless of your state in life married, single, great job, no job, rejected or accepted do you see yourself to be good? Do you know that you are a good gift? And if not, and I’d suggest that all of us are on that journey but where you don’t, that’s a place worth exposing, bringing to the light of the Lord and your brothers and sisters in Christ, because that will play a part in your own ability to walk in sexual integrity.
Josh: Lust where love is confident.
Josh: Love requires confidence.
Josh: Lust is insecure. Lust is a grasping, greedy thing. Lust is reaching for someone else to make me feel worthwhile, valuable, and yeah, i know in the immediate what it feels like lust is is. Lust is just grasping for pleasure. But under that pleasure, under the search for pleasure, is the sense for goodness, for the world to be good again. Right, like what is pleasure? I mean pleasure is an echo of Eden, when all was good, all was very good. There was no pain, there was no death, there was no sickness, there was no separation, there was no rejection. There was none of that stuff, none of the stuff that hurts us. It harms us day by day by day in this fallen world.
Josh: Pleasure just hearkens back to that And our incessant pursuit of pleasure and comfort in this world. Deep, deep, deep down underneath, that sinful, searching, grasping, greedy, covetous, lustful grasping for pleasure and comfort. Deep, deep, deep underneath, that is the desire for goodness to be restored, it’s the desire for Eden to be restored. It’s the desire, as we pray in the Lord’s prayer, that the Lord’s kingdom would come and His will would be done everywhere on earth, as it is in heaven. That’s, it’s our desire for shalom, for peace, for Sabbath, for that ultimate Sabbath rest, where we don’t need to strive or search or pretend or pose or worry anymore, but where we know. We know, we know that we are very good because God is very, very, very, very, very good, infinitely so, and He has made us in His image and we are with Him.
Josh: So lust grasps for attractive people. I mentioned it last week and I wanna revisit it this week. Why are we so drawn to attractive people and why do we desire to be attractive? Well, at the end of the day, attractiveness is. I don’t know if it’s a sign of this. It might be a false sign of this sometimes, but there’s something in attractiveness and I haven’t quite figured this out, so I’ll work on this, but there’s something in attractiveness that suggests to us goodness.
Josh: Now back to it, and take it with a grain of salt, because I’m not in any way saying that attractive people are there for automatically good, or I’m certainly not saying that people we find physically attractive are better than the rest of us. But I think there’s something in attractiveness that gives us the sense of that’s goodness, right, like, and so our desire to view or lust attractive people, attractive people, is a desire to consume their goodness, to merge, and that’s, i think, one of the powerful reasons behind sexual sin is that that one flesh union that God designed to be between husband and wife is meant to be two people who understand on the, they understand interiorly that they are good and they’re bringing their goodness to the other person’s goodness, and there’s a giving and receiving that happens there. That is very good. And there’s something, as we lost after quote unquote attractive people, that is searching for that restored place. But in that place, in that way, our kind of that pseudo merging, whether it’s just through lust and masturbation or actually hooking up with someone that we think is attractive that really what we’re searching for there is to merge and to find that we are good. Because if that attractive person, that person that we perceive on a visual, aesthetic level as quote unquote good, if that person wants to be with me, then it assuages, it kind of soothes my own sense of shame and inadequacy And, for a moment at least, makes me feel like maybe I’m good too, even if it’s just in the fantasy of porn. So, and our own desire to be attractive also is our deep, deep down, it’s a desire not to be attractive, not to draw people to ourselves, but it’s a desire to be good, to be good.
Josh: I think it’s one of the reasons that’s significant that the prophet Isaiah, in prophesying about Jesus, said there was no, he had no stately former majesty, there was nothing in his appearance that drew people to him. And yet people were drawn to him. Why? Because he was very good because he was very loving, and we know from Jesus’s life that he was not doing what he was doing to be attractive. He wasn’t grasping, he wasn’t wanting to use people, he didn’t want to draw the crowd so he could feel better about himself. He wanted people to follow him because he understood interiorly that he himself was a good gift. He was bringing something of great value to the people and he wanted them to have the goodness that he brought as God in the flesh.
Josh: Now, we’re not God in the flesh, but we are meant to image God, and so we are meant to walk around with a deep sense that we are good and we are good gifts. And so when I say that lust is insecure, lust is grasping to be a good gift, grasping to be good. We want to be attractive, we want to be desired by attractive people because deep, deep down inside we want to be good. Love, on the other hand, is confident. Love knows that sense and deep inside, knows I am valuable as one made uniquely in God’s image, not just one of many, i mean, yes, i am one of many made in God’s image, but there’s something unique. There’s something unique about God’s fingerprint upon my life that is different than my spouse’s life, my friend’s life, this person’s life, that person’s life, that person. I esteem that celebrity, whether it’s a celebrity singer or celebrity pastor, whomever that I look up to, but that I know in myself that I bring something different than they do, and I bear God’s image, because God is infinite. And so if we bear His image and there are seven billion of us on the planet, well, we can each bear His image, with some similarity, but also with our unique differences. And we long for that. We long to be unique, we long to be irreplaceable, we long to be unrepeatable, as someone has put it. So what’s one way, one avenue that we can move towards that?
Josh: I want to suggest the simplicity of opening ourselves. Instead of grasping at attractive people we reach for and meditate on and seek to, what’s the old word Shoot? We meditate on, we focus on, we gaze upon Jesus, we look upon him And, granted, we don’t see him in the flesh. But we can use images, we can use icons, we can use our imaginations, we can certainly use the scriptures to gaze upon the beauty, the goodness, the very goodness, the infinite goodness of this man, Jesus.
Josh: And I said a little earlier in the podcast that I was using images of food, like a good piece of fruit or a good cut of meat, to describe goodness. And I said it’s interesting that I used that food analogy and I hadn’t intended to. But we see the same thing in scripture, right, when Eve was enticed by the evil one to rebel against God by eating the fruit, the scriptures say that she looked and when she saw that the fruit was pleasing to the eye, good for food and able to make one wise, she took and she ate. And I’ve said it on this podcast before, i have no doubt that the fruit was beautiful, attractive, right, it was not good for food and it was not good to make her wise. Like it did not serve that purpose, the way that other things in God’s creation could have and the God himself could have In contrast. So that’s the grasping. That’s a picture of lust I’m gonna grasp to make myself something, the image of becoming whole, the image of becoming very good, of really embodying that is different. It’s not grasping, it’s something that’s forbidden, it is receiving something that is offered. And what is that something that is offered, that is given as a free gift? It is Jesus, it is his body, his blood. The Last Supper he broke the bread and he said this is my body given for you. Take and eat all of you. And I think his words were intentional, because in Genesis three we read that Eve reached out, she took and she ate What was forbidden. Here. It wasn’t hers to take, but Jesus’ body. His blood is his to give and he gives it and we are invited to take and to eat. And I think he is saying I know you want to be very good again. I know you long to be my image bearish. You long for the. You have a deep, insatiable desire for your own goodness. Stop taking and eating, stop grasping lustfully for other people’s attractiveness. That’s not the goodness you long for. You long to be very good And in order to get there, take and eat what I’m giving you.
Josh: This is one of the reasons that when many people talk about what Christianity is, they say simply that it is because of Christ, his life, his death, his resurrection and ascension, and because of him sending the Holy Spirit. It is union with God. It is because of our faith in Christ. It is union with God. So we take, we eat, we become one with God And in that way we begin to and grow into that deep, abiding sense that we ourselves, because of him, because we reflect him, because we have him in us, because he has made us, we are very good and we can be a good gift to the world. We don’t need to lost in grasp anymore, we receive.
Josh: So, Jesus, we want to receive you. Thank you for providing yourself. When we reached for created things, lord, and they did not satisfy and have left us ashamed and naked, lord, you offered yourself that we might know, know, know deep down inside, as a gift from you that you have made us to be very good. And, lord, we look at you and we say in worship you are very good, infinitely. So Praise you, lord, make us more like yourself And Jesus. Amen.