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Why I Don’t Want to Cross My Bottom-Lines

June 22, 2009

You may not be familiar with the term “bottom line”.  It’s a term that you will hear often in a men’s purity or recovery group.  I would define bottom line as: 

 “a wrong way of acting out sexually that steps beyond where you want to be”

subway_lineBottom lines could include for a recovering sex addict looking at porn on the Internet, masturbating, going to strip clubs, going into a chat room, massage parlors, flipping through magazines at the bookstore or any number of things that have gotten him into trouble in the past. 

Bottom lines also evolve.  I might not have problems with the Internet at work anymore, but I might have trouble objectifying a girl at work.  I might not flip through the Sunday ads anymore, but my newer bottom line might be flipping through channels with the intent of seeing something stimulating.

During my recovery, I have find motivations for not crossing one of my bottom lines.   Here are my key motivators (in order of importance)

1.  Hurts God; breaks God’s rules
2.  I disappoint myself; I can’t be selfish
3.  I could hurt my wife 
4.  I could hurt my kids
5.  I have to tell my accountability partner
6.  I have to tell my Group
7.  I could hurt my friendships
8.  I devalue women and support the industry they are trapped in

follow_jesus_I wish that my main motivator was #1, not to hurt God.  But my main motivator for a long time was #5, I have to tell my accountability partner.  I was afraid of this most.  That was my deepest relationship and the one I didn’t want to mess up. 

More and more, my motivators have been getting in line with these.  I think about my wife and kids more in my recovery.  My relationship with God is better now, so He is sometimes #1. 

I have also added new ones like #8, devaluing women.  Perhaps in a few months, there will be several others that become important. 

I think the lie that I came to believe is that my sin is only my sin.  It doesn’t really affect others.  This is a lie.  My sin affects a direct and indirect chain of relationships.  The truth is that when I am caught up in the addiction, my bottom lines were more important to me than my relationships.

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