Embrace, Not Escape, Your Weakness

There’s an old saying, “You’re only as strong as your greatest weakness.”  

But what if you could turn your greatest weakness into your greatest strength?

What if you could use the things you struggle with the most to actually better your life?

What if, to paraphrase Joseph in Genesis 50, you could take what was meant for evil and use it for good? 

That would be great right?  

But here’s the problem.  Instead of embracing our weaknesses and turning them into strengths, we often try to escape from them.   We use a multitude of distractions in order to avoid dealing with the parts of our lives that we struggle with.   

Sometimes, we pretend they don’t exist at all and avoid any situation where they might be exposed.  

Other times, we try to escape from them by using something as a distraction so we don’t have to think about or deal with them.

This makes up the basis of the vast majority of addictions to porn and sex.  We use porn and sex as a distraction, an escape, from dealing with the problems in our lives.  We are so scared of facing our weaknesses, or even admitting that they exist, that we run to porn to make us forget about them and make ourselves feel better… temporarily.

But true progress, and true healing, comes from Embracing our weaknesses, not Escaping them.  

To embrace instead of escape, we must do four things.

1. Turn Around

Stop running away from your problems!  They’re not going to go away just because you ignore them.   

Look what happened to Jonah when he ran away from what he was afraid to face. He ended up getting thrown overboard and spent three days in the belly of a fish.   I don’t think you or I will ever have that happen to us, but we do face consequences for trying to outrun our fears.  Often those problems end up being worse than the problems we’re trying to escape!

I ran from my weakness for many years. I acted as if I was the perfect husband, father, and Christian.  I didn’t want anyone to know what my weaknesses were so I pretended they didn’t exist and that I didn’t have any problems.  All this did was cause me to descend into darker and darker places.

But every one of us will hit a place where we realize we have to stop running away.  We have to stop and turn around.  Running away and escaping has gotten us nowhere.  

If we truly want to live the life we’re capable of, we have to turn around.   

2. Face Your Weakness

In order to turn your weakness into a strength, you must face it head on.  No more beating around the bush or trying to find the easy way out.  The only way is through.  

When I finally decided that I had to break free from porn addiction, I had to face myself.  I had to take a good long look in the mirror and admit what I truly was.  

What looked back at me scared me.  It’s not easy to admit the truth.  It’s much easier to escape it.  But you must face the weakness in your life if you’re going to defeat it.  I had to confess that I was addicted to porn and sex.  I was a liar, a cheat, and a terrible husband and father.  The word that haunted me the most was fraud.  But that’s what I was.  I didn’t live up to any of the standards I supposedly adhered to.  I was a phony and a fake.  

By facing my weakness, I was able to actually identify what my weakness was.  I realized I wasn’t desiring porn and sex, I was running away from feelings of inadequacy, not feeling good enough, fear of rejection, and depression.  My weakness was the insecurity of those issues and not being able to handle them.  So I used porn and sex to escape from them.  

Facing your fears and weaknesses is the only way to defeat them.  

3. Conquer

Now that you’ve stopped running, turned around, and faced your weaknesses, you must conquer them.  

For me, my weakness was porn and sex addiction.  I had to find a way to defeat it.  So, I got the help I so desperately needed.  I opened up and confessed who I truly was to myself, my family, and to God.  I was able to identify the triggers that were causing me to act out and uncovered the wounds and pain I was using porn to escape from.  I put boundaries in place to protect me if I was tempted and found accountability partners to keep me grounded and on track.  After months and even years of hard work, I can say I have conquered my weakness.

For you, do whatever you have to do to win the battle.  Fight hard.  Make the changes you know you need to make but have been avoiding. Never give up when it seems too hard or like you’re going nowhere.  Maybe you need to take drastic measures.  Most likely, you need help.  So stop trying to do it all on your own, humble yourself, and get the help you need.  

There are many other men out there willing to fight alongside you.  I’m one of them.  Through my one-on-one coaching and Living Porn Free resources, I can be the brother next to you on the battlefield. 

Whatever it takes, fight hard until you conquer your weakness.

4. Turn Your Weakness Into Strength

It’s not enough just to defeat your weakness, you need to turn into a strength.  

What was once my weakness, porn and sex addiction, is now a strength in my life.  Once I turned around, faced it, and conquered it, I was able to use my experience for good.  

I stopped hiding from my past and instead embraced it.  I took ownership of my failures and used them to help others.  Now I coach other men who are battling the same addiction I did.  I have written a book and filmed a video course on how I overcame my weakness.  

What was once shameful and hidden, I now declare openly in order to raise awareness and help more men find freedom.

Find a way to use the things that used to bring you down, to now build you and others up.

How can you turn your weakness into a strength?  What can you do to use your weakness for good? 

Can you use your experience in overcoming weakness to help other men overcome theirs?  Is there something that you were ashamed of in the past that now can be a badge of honor?  Where you unskilled at something and now you’ve turned it into something you’re great at?

We as men, must not be afraid of our weaknesses.  Instead, we must embrace our weaknesses, turn around, face them, conquer them, then turn them into strengths.  

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Published by Timothy Reigle

I’m Timothy Reigle, the founder of Into The Wilderness Ministries. After overcoming a fifteen year addiction to porn and sex, I have made it my life’s mission to help other men break free from the bonds of addiction. As an author, coach, and chaplain, I work with men to transform their lives by renewing their faith, re-energizing their families, and restoring their masculinity.

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