If we want to be set free from sin that has us trapped, we need to confess our sins to Jesus…and others.
The Discussion Starter:
This small group discussion starter is a humble video shared by former NFL player and current movie persona Terry Crews. He’s made a much bigger impact in Hollywood as an action star than he did in his relatively short career in the NFL, and for the most part, he’s known for being involved in projects that are fairly family friendly. He’s even been involved in some Veggie Tales work.
But this video doesn’t involve any talking vegetables or high speed explosions. It’s just Terry sitting in his SUV talking to his smartphone about something that many young people struggle with today: internet pornography.
Specifically, he confesses to the world that, in times past, he’s struggled deeply with pornography. But he goes on to say that through confession to his wife and by seeking professional help, he was able to overcome his addition to porn.
As you can probably guess, this small group discussion is going to tackle a very adult theme. Please use prayerful discernment as you prepare to lead this talk, and feel free to augment or change this discussion to suit your needs.
The Video Clip:
This clip is available online at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/realterrycrews/videos/1083942814959410/
Dirty Little SecretPosted by Terry Crews on Thursday, February 11, 2016
You don’t see a humble confession like that too often these days…especially from a Hollywood actor! But in this short clip we just watched, NFL player and action movie star Terry Crews opened his soul as he talked about his past struggle with porn. I hope you took notice how many times Terry talked about confessing his “dirty little secret” to his wife. He said he wasn’t able to overcome porn until he got it out in the open, told somebody about it, and got help. The Bible’s word for this is confession, and that’s what we’re going to talk about for the next few minutes. What you’ll soon see is that if you want to be set free from sin that has you trapped, you must confess your sins to Jesus…and others.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and one of our favorite websites to visit online.
- ASK A FEW: What was the problem that Terry confessed to in this video? Do you remember what he personally referred to it as? (Leaders – Terry confessed to an addiction to internet pornography. He called it his “dirty little secret.”)
- ASK A FEW: Interestingly, some experts think an addiction to internet pornography is not possible while other experts think it is possible. What about you? Do you believe it’s possible to have an addiction to internet pornography? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: In the video, Terry said he tried to keep his addiction to porn a secret. What did he say was the result of not telling anyone about his problem? Did it help him or hurt him?
- ASK A FEW: Terry said porn changed the way he saw people. He said they became objects to him. What does that mean?
- ASK A FEW: Terry said that his addiction to internet pornography almost cost him his wife. What are some other consequences of internet pornography?
- ASK A FEW: What was the first thing Terry said he did that began his victory over addiction to porn? (Leaders – Terry confessed his addiction to his wife. Confession is the key to our upcoming discussion.)
- ASK A FEW: So, who do we confess our sins to?
Read the following passage:
ASK A FEW: In verse 16, what does James say is necessary for us to be healed? Why do you think that is the case?
ASK A FEW: In church, we’ve always talked about “confessing our sins to Jesus,” but here James says we should confess our sins to one another, as well. Why do we need to do both? Or do we? (Leaders – In short, we confess our sins to Jesus to be forgiven. But we can confess our sins to others to get accountability and help. Obviously, Jesus will help us, as well, but it’s also nice to have someone else helping out, and praying for us too.)
ASK A FEW: James says that anyone who helps a sinning brother or sister is saving them from death. Do you think that’s what happens when we help each other with an internet pornography addiction? Why or why not?
ASK A FEW: What are some of the consequences of using pornography?
ASK A FEW: All of us have trouble and sin in our lives. All of us. It might be porn, it might be lying, it might be stealing, or uncontrolled anger. It could be almost anything! But here’s my question: have you ever thought about confessing that sin to someone else to get help? Why or why not?
ASK A FEW: Who do you trust enough to confess your sins to? Is there anyone in your life that you can turn to in times of trouble? (Leaders – If they cannot think of anyone, then offer yourself or another adult leader in the group. Don’t let them leave without having something they can talk to about their problem.)
AROUND THE CIRCLE: What’s stopping you from confessing your sins to Jesus and someone else?
Throughout our time together, porn has been called “the dirty little secret.” No doubt it’s dirty, and no doubt it’s kept secret for as long as possible. But I’m not so sure it’s a dirty LITTLE secret. I think it’s a REALLY BIG issue that many of us in this room are dealing with. In fact, according to Covenant Eyes, an internet pornography prevention group:
James 5:13-16 and 19-20 (NIV)
Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. 19 My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
9 out of 10 boys are exposed to pornography before the age of 18.
Those are troubling numbers. Without a doubt in my soul, I know there are young people in this very room who struggle with the same addiction that Terry confessed to in the video. The difference between him and you is this: he confessed his sin, got help, and was set free.
The first exposure to pornography among men is age 12, on average.
71% of teens hide online behavior from their parents.
83% of boys and 57% of girls have seen group sex online.
You are still trapped.
But that can change…and it can change right now. Here’s what we’re going to do. Everybody is going to get the exact same kind of note card and a pen. There is nothing written on either side of the card…yet. As our adult leaders pass among us and distribute cards and pens, let me tell you what I want ALL of us to do. It’s very simple. I want you to write two things on your card:
- Your full name.
- “Yes” if you’d like help with your struggle with internet porn or “No” if you don’t need help.
That’s right. It’s going to take all of us about 7 seconds to fill out our cards. We’re just writing our first names, last names, and either a yes or a no. Then, when we get them filled out, I want you to fold it in half like this, and bring it forward and drop it in this jar.
No one is going to know who you are or what you wrote unless you tell them. That’s my promise. But if you put “Yes” on your card, I’m going to follow up with you this week so we can talk about this issue that’s raging in your life.
During that discussion, if I find out that you would like to talk about porn and other sexual temptations, we can go through one of my favorite books on the subject, Sex Matters, to get you even more help.
I don’t want you to miss this opportunity to get help. You heard Terry talk about how much his life changed when he opened up about his secret addiction to porn. If you struggle with porn, your life can change too, but you’re going to have to confess that sin to Jesus and get help from somebody else you can trust.
We’d love to be that person you trust.
Close in Prayer
Written by David R Smith